Manchester United could face a battle to retain Matteo Darmian, after the Italian right-back was linked with a move back to his home country.

According to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport [via The Mirror], Juventus, Napoli and Roma have all expressed an interest in bringing the 27-year-old back to Serie A either in January or next summer.

Signed from Louis Van Gaal in the summer of 2015, Darmian was a regular starter in his first season at Old Trafford but has had limited opportunities to impress since Jose Mourinho's arrival.

So far this season, the Italian has started just five games in all competitions, two of which were in the Carabao Cup against Burton Albion and Swansea City.

Mourinho sees Darmian as a squad player and Antonio Valencia is firmly ahead of him in the pecking order as right-back, while Daley Blind and Ashley Young have both been preferred to the Italian on the other side of the defence.

Despite his sporadic appearances for United, however, Darmian has retained his starting spot for Italy, begining nine of the last 10 games for the Azzurri. In turn that has led to interest from some of Serie A's biggest clubs, some of which monitored the right-back when he established himself as a regular for Italy during his four seasons with Torino.

Juventus, who could offer Darmian the chance to return to Turin, need a right-back after losing Dani Alves to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, while Roma's sporting director Monchi reportedly tried to bring in the 27-year-old back last summer.

Meanwhile, Napoli's manager Maurizio Sarri needs to bolster his defensive options after left-back Faouzi Ghoulam was ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery.

Last month, Darmian admitted he would like to be starting more games, but insisted he was determined to keep working to ensure they come at Old Trafford rather than elsewhere.

"I made a choice [to join Manchester United] and I don't regret it," Darmian said ahead of Italy's 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Albania.

"Of course it is normal that any player wants to play as much as possible. I work hard every week and I'll keep doing it. I don't always watch Italian football and I don't know what know what will happen in the future, maybe there will be a chance to come back one day."