Juventus have set their sights on a deal for Matteo Darmian, who they have identified as the ideal replacement for Dani Alves.
The Italian champions have agreed to let Alves leave after just one season in Turin, 12 months prior to the expiry of his contract. This is something of a surprise development considering the 34-year-old’s impact during his debut campaign with the Bianconeri, in which he played 33 times in all competitions and helped them retain the Scudetto and reach the UEFA Champions League final.
Alves is now widely expected to link up with his former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, who is preparing for his second season at Manchester City. The fullback has in the past made no secret of his admiration for the Spaniard, with whom he had great success at the Camp Nou when they claimed three La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey’s and a Champions League title together.
Whilst the Brazil international will sign a two-year contract at the Etihad Stadium, Juventus will train their focus on City’s rivals United as they line up a replacement. It is believed the Serie A giants are keep to offer Darmian a return to Turin, where he spent four years at Torino from 2011 to 2015 before he was lured to Old Trafford by Louis van Gaal for a fee of £12.5million.
The Italian international has helped the Reds win the FA Cup, the League Cup and a UEFA Europa League during his time in England, although he has struggled to nail down a place in the starting eleven. Darmian has made just 39 Premier League starts in two years at United, and Jose Mourinho will unlikely stand in the way of the 27-year-old’s exit should a suitable offer arrive.