With his stock rising from week to week, Matteo Darmian’s list of suitors continues to grow.
The Italian has been on a steady upward trajectory ever since arriving in Turin in the summer of 2011, flourishing under the guidance of Giampiero Ventura.
Once an AC Milan cast-off who failed to make his way into the senior squad from the youth ranks, Darmian now has previous detractors scrambling to offer plaudits.
On from two impressive campaigns in Serie A and a World Cup in which he was perhaps the only Italian to improve his reputation, the 25-year-old has continued to rise.
Torino have come on strong in the second half of the season and defied expectations by surging into the knockout rounds of the Europa League – largely due to Darmian’s contributions.
A versatile full-back able to bomb forward at pace and close down attackers at the back in equal measure, Darmian has made his name at wing-back in Ventura’s 3-5-2 set-up.
The Italian has spent nearly an equal amount of time playing on both the right and left flanks this term despite the forming being his natural side.
What’s more is that Darmian has past experience playing in central midfield as well as at centre-back, experiences that have broadened his skill set down the years.
The sheer abundance of clubs chasing Darmian’s signature has threatened to drive his price-tag to substantial levels, especially as Granata president Urbano Cairo is keen to hold on to his star man.
Cairo confessed to Radio Kiss Kiss in the first week of March that he is unsure of how the situation will unfold when the transfer window opens.
Versatility and athleticism – as well as technical excellence – are key traits in the Spaniard’s system, and as such Guardiola is said to see Darmian as an ideal addition.
With news of Bayern circling Darmian, Cairo is said to have set his asking price for at €20 million, though may be willing to drop down to €18 million under the right circumstances.
The clubs in for Darmian, Chelsea included, will in turn need to think long and hard about just how crucial a transfer the Italian would be at that figure.
He no doubt has the quality to be a useful signing at an elite club, but sinking upwards of €18 million into a full-back must be a considered proposition, especially for sides with plenty of talent already at hand.