Report: Fabinho close to signing for Man United
Fabinho was a key man for Monaco last season | Photo: Agence Nice Presse

Manchester United are ‘very close’ to signing versatile AS Monaco star Fabinho, according to renowned Italian journalist, Gianluca di Marzio.

The Brazilian midfielder has long been linked with United as a potential defensive midfield signing.

Fabinho to be used at wing-back

Interestingly, however, di Marzio reports that manager José Mourinho is 'on the lookout for a wing-back', with Fabinho equally adept at right-back or defensive midfield.

The Old Trafford club have made an offer of €50m including bonuses, which equates to just under £44m for the 23-year-old. The news comes less than two weeks after the Manchester Evening News reported that United had ended their pursuit of signing Fabinho.

Encouragingly, that bid is said to have put off Juventus attempting to lure the player to Turin. Di Marzio also reports that the Serie A champions have now ended their interest in Fabinho.

Darmian out?

However, Max Allegri’s Juve were also said to be looking at a wing-back and now, in something of a transfer merry-go-round, that could cause United to lose one of their current defenders.

Juventus will be looking for a right-back with widespread reports suggesting their current incumbent of the role, Dani Alves, is Manchester City-bound.

Other rumours have since suggested United’s versatile defender Matteo Darmian could depart for the Italian champions.

What does this mean for Valencia?

The potential deal may not only affect Darmian, though. Indeed, having enjoyed such a fantastic campaign at right-back last time out, Antonio Valencia will wonder what this means for him.

United fans will surely be delighted if Fabinho does join the club, but many would have expected him to arrive as the new defensive midfielder, given that’s where he starred last term in Leonardo Jardim’s title-winning Monaco team.

It may be a sensible decision to sign some competition for Valencia given he’s now 31, but if Fabinho is to be used at wing-back, it could mean United will continue to pursue other defensive midfield targets such as Nemanja Matic and Eric Dier, of Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.