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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho eager to keep Matteo Darmian - sources

Matteo Darmian will again try to leave Manchester United and return to Italy in January but Jose Mourinho is keen to keep the defender at Old Trafford until at least the end of the season, sources have told ESPN FC.

The 28-year-old has made just one appearance this term and with interest from a host of Serie A clubs, Darmian is eager to secure a move away in the next transfer window.

But Mourinho, who has concerns over the fitness of Antonio Valencia and Diogo Dalot, would like to keep Darmian. The full-back has been an unused substitute in the last six games but Mourinho wants him as cover at both right-back and left-back.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who can also play at right-back, is on loan at Fulham but sources have told ESPN FC that United have no intention of recalling the Dutchman early.

Darmian, a £12.8 million signing from Torino in 2015, made it clear to Mourinho and the club's hierarchy he wanted to return to Italy in the summer but despite negotiations with Juventus and Napoli, the club did not receive an acceptable offer.

The Italian has a contract until the end of the season with the option of another 12 months and United will demand a fee before allowing him to move on.

Darmian has come back into the first-team fold after injuries to Valencia and Dalot.

Valencia has missed the last seven games while Dalot, a summer signing from Porto, hasn't featured since the Carabao Cup defeat to Derby in September.

Meanwhile, sources have told ESPN FC that United have opened contract talks with Juan Mata.

The Spaniard will be a free agent at the end of the season but the club are hopeful of extending his stay. The club are also in talks with Ander Herrera, Ashley Young, David De Gea and Anthony Martial.

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