Ex-Man Utd man reveals ‘freak’ Van Gaal antics in frank Conte comparison

Matteo Darmian Inter v Hellas Verona April 2021

Inter and former Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian says that Antonio Conte is a “step ahead” of the likes of Louis van Gaal.

Darmian moved to United in 2015 from Torino, under the guise of Dutchman Van Gaal. The Italian spent four seasons with the Red Devils, picking up Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup winners’ medals. However, he lost his place under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who agreed to let him move to Parma.

From there, he spent a season with the Serie A side, before moving across Italy for a loan deal with Inter in October.

The 31-year-old has impressed manager and fellow Italian Conte, so much so that he will make his move to the Nerazzurri permanent in the summer.

Given his recent travels, Darmian has experienced different a range of different coaching styles. As well as Van Gaal and Conte, he has also worked under ex-United boss Jose Mourinho.

Asked about Van Gaal’s leadership, Darmian told Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia): “Van Gaal was a freak of the rules. He was the one who wanted me at United.

“One of the first days in Manchester he took me aside and said: ‘You are here thanks to me. You have my confidence, you will fight with [Antonio] Valencia, know that for me the name doesn’t matter’.

“[Mourinho] has no other loves than to win. I owe him trophies, even a Europa League.”

April 29 Transfer Chatter: Lukaku to Chelsea, Abraham for sale and Arsenal want Brandt

April 29 Transfer Chatter: Lukaku to Chelsea, Abraham for sale and Arsenal want Brandt

Jordan Simpson is back with your daily dose of transfer gossip.

On Conte, though, Darmian said: “He has great ideas, tactically, he’s a step ahead.”

Conte made his name while in charge of Italy. However, he left that job to move to Chelsea in the summer of 2016.

He masterminded a Premier League title triumph in his first season at Stamford Bridge, but left in 2018.

From there, he moved to Inter last summer and can lead the club to the Serie A title this weekend.

Man Utd eye Belotti transfer

Andrea Belotti TEAMtalk

Meanwhile, Man Utd are reportedly looking into the transfer of another Italian in Torino’s Andrea Belotti.

There is a €100m release clause in the striker’s contract, which nobody will meet with his contract running down.

Indeed, he has just over one year left on his current deal, with the Red Devils eyeing a much cheaper price.

READ MORE: Man Utd Tottenham set sights on €25m hitman with contract running down