Torino manager Giampiero Ventura has revealed full-back Matteo Darmian will join Manchester United ‘later this week’ according to Sky Sports Italia.
The 25-year-old will reportedly cost the Red Devils a fee of around £12.7m, a fee that naturally incites comparison with recent Liverpool acquisition Nathaniel Clyne.
Clyne cost the Anfield club £12.5m earlier this summer after United publically ruled themselves out of contention for his signature.
But which club has got themselves the better deal?
From a purely financial perspective United have got greater value for money, with Darmian two summers from the conclusion of his contract at the Stadio Olimpico.
Liverpool paid a near identical fee for a player who had been in the final year of his agreement at Southampton.
The Italian has the edge in terms of international and European experience, with 13 Azzurri caps to Clyne’s five for England, while he has also appeared in 17 Europa League games to his rival’s none.
He also held more of an attacking threat from a statistical point of view last season, averaging 1.3 key passes an outing in Serie A, along with 2.3 accurate crosses and 2.2 successful long passes.
At Southampton Clyne averaged 0.6, 0.5 and 2.2 respectively, although he did put in a good deal more defensive work than Darmian, a wing-back in front of a back three in Turin.
The Englishman’s mean tackles and interceptions stand at 3.3 and 1.8 per 90 minutes, compared to 2 and 1.2 for the Man Utd-bound man.
Indeed, the fact that Clyne’s stats were hewn from his 35 appearances as an orthodox right-back in a 4-4-2, go some way to suggesting he is the better signing of the pair.
Unlike Darmian, who has played as a wing-back ahead of a three-man central defence for Torino and Italy, the new Liverpool signing will be swapping one back four for another.
Clyne has the positional sense to have earned his standing in Brendan Rodgers’ preferred defensive configuration, while the soon-to-be Manchester United man will face a period of adaptation, with Louis van Gaal having suggested that 4-3-3 is his favoured formation for Man Utd going forward last season.