Manchester United target Matteo Darmian

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is desperate to sign a right-back in January and after an extensive scouting mission believe Torino defender Matteo Darmian could fit the bill.

Darmian is valued at £15m but that won't be a problem for United, with the Italy international's versatility rated as a key attribute the Red Devils could definitely benefit from during the second half of the season and beyond.

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The 24-year-old was let go by AC Milan as a youngster but has made that decision look rather foolish in recent years, establishing himself as one of Serie A's top defenders in an emerging Torino side.

Van Gaal has sent his top scouts to watch Darmian on more than one occasion, with The Mirror reporting that the Dutchman has received glowing reports and is ready to table a formal offer when the transfer window opens as a result.

Younger, fresher alternative to Dani Alves

United are under no illusions that they need to address serious defensive deficiencies at the earliest possible opportunity, with right-back a big area of concern.

Barcelona defender Dani Alves is likely available to fill that void, but at an eye-watering cost in terms of salary.

Darmian would have much lower demands than the Brazil star and be a long-term addition to United's ranks, similar to Rojo in that he can play both at full-back and centre half.

Van Gaal thinks he can persuade Torino to do business in January for around £15m and is now actively pursuing an important January deal, one which while not grabbing the headlines signing Alves would is an investment well worth making for a United team still in transition.

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