Reports suggest that Manchester United have agreed a fee with Serie A club Torino for the transfer of their Italian international right back Matteo Darmian, but what will the Red Devils be getting for their money?
We run the rule over the potential Old Trafford new boy.
1. Darmian arrived into the world on 2nd December 1989 in Legnano in the north-west Province of Milan, meaning that he shares a birthday with Britney Spears, Nelly Furtado, Lucy Liu and, er, David Batty. Glamorous.
2. His promise was very evident early on, and after progressing through the Milan youth teams he made his first team debut in November 2006 aged just 16, breaking into a Rossoneri squad which would go on to lift the Champions League that season.
3. He was to forever remain on the fringes of things at the San Siro, though, being installed as the captain of the Under 19s in 2007/08 but never quite being able to make the leap into the first team on a consistent basis, making just six appearances in all competitions across three seasons.
4. By 2009/10 Darmian had accepted that he needed to leave to gain first-team experience elsewhere, and he featured heavily during a loan spell at Padova in which his side only just escaped relegation to Serie C. He’d done enough to convince Palermo that he belonged at the top level though, and they entered into one of those complicated co-ownership deals with Milan to sign him in 2010.
5. Torino was his next port of call in 2011, and it was there that his attacking qualities began to form and he transformed into a raiding right-back, but one whose initial grounding as a central defender meant that he never shirked his responsibilities further back. He scored his first ever Serie A goal in a win over Empoli in the October after his loan move, which later became permanent as he grew in confidence.
6. The 2013/14 season was undoubtedly where it all began to come together for Darmian, who played in all but one of Torino’s Serie A matches as they qualified for the Europa League, with the right-back earning a spot in the division’s team of the year as he did so.
7. Full internationalhonours were next up for a player who had been a regular at Italian youth levels ever since he was 16, and after making his senior Azzurri debut for Cesare Prandelli’s side in a friendly against Ireland just two weeks before the start of last summer’s World Cup, he was included in the final 23 for Brazil.
8. Darmian played the full 90 minutes in each of Italy’s three games at the World Cup – the 2-1 win over England where he faced potential new teammate Wayne Rooney, and the defeats to Costa Rica and Uruguay which ultimately led to their exit.
9. Earlier this year Darmian beat the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio for the Pallone Azzurro award for 2014 – an award for the best player for Italy’s national team over the previous year.
10. And as these Vines show, Darmian continued his fine form into the 2014/15 season, producing both this excellent assist for Maxi Lopez in the Europa League against Athletic Bilbao, and then scoring a well taken goal in the Turin derby against Juventus.
United look as though they are getting themselves a real talent!