Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian has talked up a possible return to Italy some weeks before the mid-season transfer window begins.
The Italian international fullback spoke about his desire to return to Italy in a chat with popular Italian media outlet calciomercato.
The 29-year-old confirmed his desire to move back to Italy while he was being asked whether or not he missed his native country.
Darmian also revealed that he bears no grudge against AC Milan when the player was asked about his thoughts ahead of their game against Torino on Sunday.
Matteo Darmian had a largely unsuccessful spell at AC Milan earlier in his career.
Torino and AC Milan are two of his former clubs.
He signed for Manchester United from Torino in a deal worth £12.7m in the summer of 2015.
Darmian signed a four-year contract then til the summer of 2019.
He has just six months left on his current Manchester United deal and that has prompted transfer talks linking him with a move out of the club.
Inter Milan have been touted as a potential transfer destination for him at the end of his Manchester United contract.
He can start to speak with foreign clubs about a potential free transfer move as from the 1st of January.
Manchester United Players With Most EPL Trophies
Manchester United have been the dominant club in the English Premier League (EPL) era though it must be pointed out that they are yet to win the competition in seven years. The last win came during the 2012/13 season when legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson was at the club.
The last Premier League title at Manchester United coincided with the final season under Sir Alex Ferguson who retired as a manager in 2013 before moving upstairs as a director on the club’s board.
In the past few seasons, Manchester United fans have seen rivals Manchester City and Liverpool take their place as the dominant club in the Premier League. Despite the recent fall from the Premier League top, the Red Devils still have the most Premier League titles.
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Manchester United won 13 Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson to take them above arch rivals, Liverpool, as the most successful club in English league football. The Red Devils now have 20 league titles, while Liverpool is stuck on 18 league titles though that’s expected to increase to 19 in a matter of weeks after the compulsory Coronavirus break.
Let’s examine the top three Manchester United players with the most Premier League titles:
1. Ryan Giggs
The Welshman has the most league titles in the history of the Premier League (13). He also has the most assists in the competition plus the fact that he holds the record for the most appearances in the illustrious history of Manchester United.
2. Paul Scholes
The ex-Manchester United midfielder had to quit football for some years because of vision problems but was still able to win 11 Premier League titles. He quit football for two years before returning to win more titles at Manchester United.
3. Gary Neville
The former Manchester United skipper won 8 Premier League titles during his time at Old Trafford. Just like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, Gary Neville spent all his football career at Old Trafford.
Potential Replacements For Outgoing Odion Ighalo At Manchester United
Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo is almost helpless as his Manchester United dream is set to come to an end after some months. The former Super Eagles star is on the verge of returning to parent club Shanghai Shenshua in the Chinese Super League as his loan deal at the Theatre of Dreams ends in a matter of days.
Ighalo wants to stay on at the Premier League club but the two teams have not been able to reach a conclusion to this effect. Manchester United want the striker to complete the current season with no obligation to sign him permanently, while Shanghai Shenshua are adamant that the Red Devils will have to sign the player if they want to retain his services beyond the May 30 expiration date for his loan transfer to Manchester United as agreed between the two clubs when Ighalo became a Red Devil at the end of January.
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Odion Ighalo has been able to fulfil a lifelong dream of playing for Manchester United at the age of 30 and he has also done well more than expected with a return of four goals in just three starts. Age is however not on his side which is the main reason behind Manchester United’s reluctance to sign him on a permanent deal. The target for Manchester United is to sign a younger striker this summer leading us to possible striker targets to replace Odion Ighalo at the club:
1. Timo Werner – He has scored goals for fun in the German Bundesliga this season including a hattrick during the 5-0 thrashing of hosts Mainz 05 at the weekend. The RB Leipzig star now has 24 league goals.
2. Moussa Dembele – The Frenchman has been the subject of a €70m bid from Manchester United according to earlier reports. The Lyon striker is also a target for rivals Chelsea.
3. Harry Kane – The Spurs player would be the first choice on the list of potential replacements for Odion Ighalo if he’s made available for a transfer.
What Man United Will Miss If Ighalo Leaves On May 30
Lifelong Manchester United supporter Odion Ighalo could leave the club at the end of May as talks over the extension of his loan deal at Old Trafford continues to stall. His parent club Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League and the Red Devils have not been able to reach an agreement over an extension for the ex-Super Eagles attacker.
Ighalo was handed a remarkable opportunity to fulfil his dream of playing for boyhood club Manchester United in January 2020 when the Red Devils secured a four-month loan deal for him from Shanghai Shenhua. He was seen as the short-term replacement for star forward Marcus Rashford who had a long-term injury as at then.
His loan transfer to Manchester United was heavily criticised by fans and stakeholders but the player was able to silence his doubters with impressive performances on the pitch before Coronavirus struck and caused football to be suspended. Odion Ighalo scored four goals in just three starts for his new club including a memorable strike in the 5-0 away win at LASK Linz of Austria in the first leg, Europa League round of 16 clash.
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Football was suspended in March until recently when leagues like the German Bundesliga and the Korean league resumed activities once again. The Premier League is also preparing to resume football as from next month and that could be without Ighalo.
His Chinese club wants him back as they prepare for the resumption of the Super League. Shanghai Shenhua are open to a permanent deal for the player but Manchester United prefer a loan extension till the present season ends. On his own part, Ighalo’s preference is to continue to play for his dream club either on loan or permanently.
Manchester United are reluctant to negotiate a permanent deal for 30-year-old Ighalo with the club keen to sign a younger striker this summer. The situation is likely to end with Ighalo’s exit from Manchester United on May 30. What will the club miss if he leaves.
1. Goals – Odion Ighalo has been very prolific in his short time at the club and his goals would certainly be missed.
2. Plan B – The Nigerian striker was seen as a Plan B when he signed for the Red Devils on loan and the club will definitely miss that. No other Manchester United attacker has the aerial prowess that Odion Ighalo offers.
EPL: Can Manchester United Challenge Liverpool, Manchester City This Season
Liverpool and Manchester City have been way ahead of the other Premier League clubs in the title race over the past few years. The Premier League title has been a two-horse race for the better part of the last two years and other clubs including Manchester United might need to come up with something special next season to match or beat these two clubs.
Manchester City won the last two league titles and have had to fight off a spirited challenge from Liverpool to win the second of those titles at the end of last season. Liverpool missed out on the league title to Manchester City (98 points) by one point but the Reds were able to showcase a big mental strength to close in on their own title.
Liverpool won 27 of the 29 league games played before Premier League football was suspended in March because of COVID 19. The Reds were able to blow champions Manchester City and others out of the title race. They need just two wins to confirm their league title after football resume as expected in the Premier League next month. It would be their first-ever league title in the Premier League era plus a first one for 30 years.
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The dominance of Liverpool and Manchester City has led to the title relevance question involving the other clubs especially Manchester United ahead of the next league campaign. Manchester United were the kings of winning Premier League titles until legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013. The Red Devils have not been able to feature prominently in the title race since the last Premier League win seven years ago but fans are starting to believe that current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can build a title-winning team after a long wait. This has led to the question of what is needed to beat rivals Liverpool and Manchester City to the title at Manchester United.
The Red Devils have already been boosted by the addition of Portuguese international midfielder Bruno Fernandes in January. Bruno Fernandes has been the best player in the competition (Premier League) since he was signed by Manchester United.
The Red Devils might need to be consistent next season for the league title at the expense of Manchester City and Liverpool. Solskjaer and Manchester United will definitely need more than Bruno Fernandes to achieve this. A consistent goalscoring centre forward plus a centre back partner for Harry Maguire could take them to the promised land of winning the Premier League title once again.
Is Manchester United Prospect Angel Gomes Right To Want Summer Exit?
Young Manchester United attacker Angel Gomes was the best prospect at the club for several years until the last 12 months when the likes of Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams overshadowed him mainly because of their positive impact in the first team. A major reason for this is his contract standoff with the club which has indirectly impacted on his playing time in the first team under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
He has made a solitary start in seven months plus the attacker was the only travelling player left out of the 18-man squad that secured the 5-0 away win over LASK Linz in the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie in Austria.
All the Manchester United prospects in and around the first team have signed a new deal in the last 18 months except Angel Gomes who has represented the England youth teams. Red Devils prospects Mason Greenwood, Dylan Levitt, Tahith Chong, Ethan Laird, Brandon Williams, and James Garner have all committed their long-term futures to the Old Trafford club.
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As per the report via the Manchester Evening News, Angel Gomes is not convinced that his long-term lies at Manchester United. This position prompted him to reject the offer of a new deal from the club.
The 19-year-old is in search of more first team football and he thinks Manchester United can’t offer him what he wants at the moment. Angel Gomes Is also unhappy that Manchester United has decided to pursue a transfer for players in his age bracket with these footballers potentially blocking his path to a regular berth in the first team. The Red Devils are keen to sign young players like Jadon Sancho, Jude Bellingham, Jack Grealish and others.
Angel Gomes Is not short of suitors as his future at Old Trafford remains in serious doubts. Barcelona, Chelsea and Inter Milan are all interested in a free transfer move for the player this summer which leads to the question of first team football at these clubs.
The English junior international might not be able to secure regular first team football just like what’s obtainable at Manchester United. For now, he is still a Manchester United player but the clock of his potential exit is ticking.
How Manchester United Can Sign Premier League Speed Merchant For Next Season
Malian-born Spanish winger Adama Traore has come a long way in his Premier League career which started at Aston Villa. The player came through the famed La Masia Academy at Barcelona and was earmarked for big things resulting from his huge potentials.
It is safe to say that Adama Traore didn’t show those potentials at the start of his Premier League career upon moving to England from Barcelona. He was part of the Aston Villa team that suffered relegation for the first time in the Premier League era during the 2015/16 campaign.
Adama Traore often showed his rawness at Aston Villa as he did little to prevent the club from dropping into the English Championship. The same relegation befell his next club Middlesbrough whom he joined shortly after his first season in England.
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The 24-year-old suffered Premier League relegation with Middlesbrough in his first season at the Riverside and that proved to be a blessing in disguise as he began to show his true potentials in the English Championship the following season under the guidance of Tony Pulis.
His impressive performances at Middlesbrough earned him a club-record move to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2018 and he has been able to make a better impact in his third shot at Premier League football after his Aston Villa and Boro experiences.
Adama Traore had a good first campaign at Wolves during the 2018/19 season and this proved to be the catalyst for him to become one of the most improved players in the English top flight this season. The biggest English teams are now interested in his services with Manchester United said to be leading the race to sign him.
Other big clubs like Liverpool and Manchester City also want to sign the speedster who will definitely not be a cheap acquisition.
Manchester United are in the market for wingers this summer and Adama Traore is a good possibility leading us to how they can sign him. The Red Devils will have to pay a big transfer fee that could be over £50m for the player and also see off rivals Liverpool and Manchester City to secure him onto their playing squad at the start of the 2020/21 season.
Why Manchester United Must Saul Niguez This Summer
One of the biggest transfer questions this summer is the future of Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba at Old Trafford. The time might be right for the player to leave Manchester United finally.
Paul Pogba’s commitment to Manchester United has been heavily questioned in the past months especially after he publicly admitted that he wants to leave the club that trained him for the second time. The Manchester United Academy graduate left the club for Juventus when he was a teenager before returning four years later in 2016.
Two major C-factors have led to the general consensus that this summer is the best time for Pogba to leave. The first factor is his commitment to the Red Devils as pointed out earlier.
The second factor is his contract which will run out in 2022. Manchester United must sell him this summer if they want to receive more than the £89m paid to sign him from Juventus in 2016 since he’s unlikely to sign a new deal at the Theatre of Dreams.
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Manchester United don’t need to worry too much about a potential replacement for Paul Pogba with Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez available for a transfer as long as the club is willing to spend money amidst the financial uncertainties caused by COVID 19.
Saul Niguez has a release clause of £138m in his current Atletico Madrid contract and that’s the major requirement for Manchester United to sign him as long as they are able to convince the player about joining them.
The first main reason why Manchester United need to sign the 25-year-old Spanish international this summer is his quality. He has shown that he has the quality to replace a World Cup winner like Pogba via his performances for Atletico Madrid since making his debut for the club in 2012.
Another reason is his consistency. Unlike Paul Pogba who has battled with injuries in the last two years, Saul Niguez has hardly being injured over the course of his Atletico Madrid career.
Lastly, Saul Niguez is the most rated on the list of midfield targets being scrutinised by Manchester United this summer.
Three Dynamic Right-Wingers Man United Could Sign In Place Of Top Target Jadon Sancho
Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho is in high demand ahead of this summer’s transfer market with reports claiming that Manchester United are leading the race to sign him. A Manchester United transfer for Jadon Sancho is far from straightforward due to several factors.
One of the factors is the presence of other interested clubs like Liverpool and Chelsea, while another factor is the resolve from Borussia Dortmund to keep the player for another year. Perhaps the biggest factor blocking a summer move for Jadon Sancho is finance.
Manchester United are one of the wealthiest clubs in the world but the current COVID 19 era and its negative effects have forced both the big and the small clubs to re-evaluate the plans they had prior to this era. Football was suspended for some months because of COVID 19 but it has started to return behind closed doors in some countries meaning that finances from spectators won’t be available for now until fans can return to match venues in the future.
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Manchester United will need all the money they can get to pull off a £100m plus transfer + annual wages of over £15m for dynamic right-winger Jadon Sancho. To this effect, the Red Devils could exploit other cheaper transfer options with the club keen to sign a new and efficient right-wing specialist.
Here are three options constantly linked with Manchester United:
1. Wilfred Zaha – He failed to make the grade at Manchester United when he joined as an expensive teenager. The English born Ivorian international was signed for £15m bit was unable to justify that price tag at the club. The player would definitely want another chance to show the Manchester United fans his qualities on the pitch.
2. Federico Chiesa – The Italian international has been a dynamic right winger for Fiorentina over the last two seasons. He is the main man at the club which also had his father Enrico on its payroll during his playing days.
3. Nicolo Zaniolo – Another Italian in Nicolo Zaniolo who has been in impressive form for AS Roma since bursting onto the scene last season. An Achilles injury has curtailed his progress in the past months but the player is expected to return to action soonest. He scored four goals in 20 league appearances this season before the aforementioned long-term injury.