Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta has confirmed his club’s desire to sign Matteo Darmian from Manchester United this summer.
The Italian has fallen out of favour under Jose Mourinho, making only three Premier League starts since the turn of the year – all in low-pressure, unimportant games during the tail-end of the campaign.
It has been reported by several sources, including Gianluca Di Marzio, that the two clubs were close to reaching a £10m deal for Darmian to make a return to Turin.
And Marotta, speaking on Thursday, made it clear that Darmian suited the profile Juventus were after.
“Darmian? He can be part of the opportunities we are looking for, he is Italian and our hardcore must always be formed by players of our national team and who have greater ability to understand our habitat,” he said. “So I do not hide it, it’s a profile that interests us.”
On first glance this seems like quite an irrationally nationalist perspective from Marotta, but then there is, without doubt, a certain intangible quality Italian defenders possess that couldn’t be replicated anywhere else.
It can be best described as a form of nous, of inherent understanding and resilience, often messy and grating to look at yet majestic at the same time. The closest we got to that with Darmian at United was his performance in the Europa League final: definitive, incorrigible, full of heart and knowhow.
And at Juventus, a club which has for so long provided the bedrock of Italy’s defence, Darmian has an excellent chance of rediscovering exactly that once again.