Matteo Darmian
Darmian has started just one game this season Getty


  • Italian has only played one game since the arrival of Jose Mourinho.
  • Catalans are looking to sign a right-back to replace Aleix Vidal.
  • Arsenal's Hector Bellerin is also in the list but João Cancelo is currently the number 1 target.

Manchester United outcast Matteo Darmian has been the latest right-back linked with a move to Barcelona amid the potential departure of Aleix Vidal during the January transfer window. Yet, Mundo Deportivo claims that Valencia's João Cancelo is still topping the shopping list of the Catalans as the club look unlikely to pay Arsenal high demands for Hector Bellerin.

Barcelona are reportedly in the market for a new right-back after Vidal fallen out of favour for manager Luis Enrique during the opening part of the season, having been left out of squad in the last six games.

Versatile Sergi Roberto has excelled in the position but they still want another full-back, either to cover the Spaniard or to let him return to his original position in the middle of the park.

Barcelona have thus been heavily linked with a move for Bellerin since the summer after they lost Dani Alves to Juventus. Yet, the Arsenal right-back grew in La Masia academy and would fit perfectly in Luis Enrique's tiki-taka style.

Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona do like Bellerin but are also looking for cheaper alternatives as they are aware that Arsenal will not let the Spaniard moving on the cheap, and they don't want to break the bank for the Gunners right-back after they already spent more than €120m (£107m, $132m) in the summer.

In this sense, the Spanish publication identified three potential candidates – ahead of the January transfer window last week – in Cancelo and two veterans like Juventus's Stephan Lichtsteiner and Shakhtar Donetsk's Darijo Srna.

Now they add two other names to the list after claiming that AC Milan Mattia De Sciglio and Manchester United out-of-favour Darmian have been offered to Barcelona.

Yet the report came only days later Darmian agent said that the Italian could leave United during the January transfer window after having only played one game in the Europe League since the arrival of Jose Mourinho.

"He's playing little or nothing and it's a shame because he's an Italy international," he told Radio CRC as quoted by Sky Sports. "If the situation doesn't change by January, we'll have to think of something. He risks also losing his place in the national team. "We've got to see what United want to do. Italian clubs have tried [to sign him], but United closed the door immediately."

The Catalans are also monitoring other low profile right-backs like Malaga's Roberto Rosales, Almany Touré or Adama Traore.

Yet, Mundo Deportivo claims that Cancelo is currently top priority for Barcelona, as luring him from Valencia would cost between €25m and €30m. Nevertheless, recent reports claimed that the Catalans would like to offer Los Che a swap deal with Vidal to sweeten the deal.