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Italy boss unhappy with Manchester United over 'bizarre' Darmian decision

United have refused to release the player for international duty until 5 June, Giampiero Ventura says.

Manchester United and Italy full-back Matteo Darmian.
Manchester United and Italy full-back Matteo Darmian.
Image: Claudio Villa

ITALY COACH GIAMPIERO Ventura has criticised Manchester United over the club’s “bizarre” refusal to release Matteo Darmian for international duty.

Darmian helped Jose Mourinho’s side to beat Ajax in the Europa League final on Wednesday and Ventura revealed that United have blocked the full-back from joining up with his country.

Italy face San Marino and Uruguay in international friendlies on 31 May and 7 June respectively ahead of a World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein on 11 June.

Ventura named an experimental young squad for the fixtures due to a number of players — including Mattia De Sciglio, Alessandro Florenzi, Emerson Palmieri and Davide Zappacosta — being unavailable through injury, and he hit out at United over Darmian.

“I’d also add that Darmian, he doesn’t have permission from [Manchester] United to come to us until 5 June,” Ventura told reporters on Tuesday.

“A bizarre choice, as he’s been stopped since the Europa League final, and I think we’ve lost him for the Uruguay game too. A bizarre choice.

“We’re not going to cry though, we’ve lost many players over the months but locally we have a lot of youngsters thanks to the training camps. [Andrea] Conti, [Danilo] D’Ambrosio and [Leonardo] Spinazzola will be important for us in the upcoming matches.”

With defenders Alessio Romagnoli and Daniele Rugani carrying injuries, Ventura is hoping the Juventus trio of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini come through Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid safely.

“It seems that Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini will all play on Saturday and I’ve spoken to all three of them,” Ventura added.

“They’re playing on 3 June and then we play on 7 June, a very important friendly for us and I asked them all to give their availability. The response was total availability, but there’s a further step from being available to being healthy.

“We hope all three of them will be there, because Romagnoli and Rugani have physical problems. I want to compliment them though, they’ve been a surprise even for me. They’re an example for the younger ones.”

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