Five Italian players that played for Manchester United amid Alessandro Bastoni links
Manchester United are interested in signing Italy and Inter Milan centre-back Alessandro Bastoni, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
At the age of 23, Bastoni has established himself as one of the most talented centre-halves across Europe and it’s becoming abundantly clear that Erik ten Hag wants to bolster his backline options.
Similar to Pau Torres, who could become the fifth player to have played for Manchester United and Villarreal, Bastoni is a classy left-footed defender who is yet to enter his prime years.
The report from Gazzetta dello Sport states that the Nerazzuri will not consider anything less than £51.2m for Bastoni, who was signed from Atalanta six years ago.
Bastoni, who is also attracting interest from Tottenham Hotspur, won the Serie A title with Spurs boss Antonio Conte last year.
With the 11-time Italy international linked with a move to Old Trafford, United in Focus takes a look back at the five Italian players that played for Manchester United.
Italian players that played for Manchester United
In Louis van Gaal’s second season in charge of Manchester United, the Reds spent £12.7m to sign Darmian from Torino.
The Italian international, who is capable of playing either at right-back or left-back, impressed against England in the 2014 World Cup and he made 39 appearances in his only season playing under Van Gaal, which included an FA Cup winners medal.
In Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge Darmian made 29 appearances and he played the full 90 minutes in the Europa League final victory against Ajax.
Darmian’s game time continued to reduce under the Portuguese and it was clear that the Italian formed no part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans when the Norwegian took the reins.
Darmian returned to his homeland in September 2019 where he joined Parma but after a season with the I Crociati, the 32-year-old was signed by Conte on loan and they won the Scudetto together at Inter.
After Inter made Darmian’s move permanent last summer, the 36-time Italy international has won the Italian Cup and Super Cup under the stewardship of Simone Inzaghi.
When every Manchester United fan hears the name Macheda their mind will likely gravitate towards that spectacular and crucial goal which flew past Brad Friedel.
The winner against Aston Villa at the Stretford End was the pinnacle of Macheda’s United career and despite scoring in his next match against Sunderland, the striker would only go on to score three more times for the Red Devils.
After five loan spells with Championship sides, Macheda looks to have found stability with Greek side Panathinaikos.
The 30-year-old, who United signed from Lazio, has been in Greece for four years and has 40 goals from 116 games.
The diminutive Italian could have gone on to have a great career if his time on the pitch wasn’t constantly thwarted with injuries.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Rossi from Parma when he was 17, but he only played 14 times for the Manchester United first team.
A move to Spain with Villarreal and the opportunity to play week in, week out, looked to have unlocked Rossi’s true potential, but suffering three consecutive serious injuries, in the space of three years, derailed his career.
After scoring 82 goals from 191 games for the Yellow Submarine, Rossi made a permanent move to Fiorentina and after netting 16 goals from 21 Serie A matches, Rossi was in the form of his life before being struck down with long-term injuries once again.
The 35-year-old is currently playing in Serie B with SPAL.
Much like Macheda, Manchester United fans will always have a lasting memory of Matt Le Tissier’s tame effort squirming underneath Taibi at Old Trafford.
Taibi couldn’t shrug off that mistake and it didn’t help that his fourth and final appearance for Manchester United was a 5-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
After being named man of the match on his debut for the Reds which was a 3-2 win against Liverpool at Anfield, Taibi’s career suffered an almighty nosedive.
After arriving to provide cover for the injured Mark Bosnich, Taibi moved back to Italy when he joined Reggina on loan in January 2000, before joining the Italian side on a permanent deal in the summer.
The Brazilian, who would later go on to represent the Italy Under-19s side due to his citizenship, joined Manchester United from Internacional.
The bushy-haired midfielder made eight first-team appearances for Manchester United, and was never on the losing side in the games he featured in, before moving back to Brazil with Santos in August 2010.
After a brief spell in China, the 33-year-old announced his retirement in 2018.