Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is keen for Matteo Darmian to stay at the club, according to reports.

The Italian defender has made just one appearance for United this season and is thought to be eyeing a return to Italy in the January transfer window.

The 28-year-old, who signed for £12.5 million in 2015, was reportedly close to a move away from Old Trafford in the summer but ESPN reports that Mourinho does not want to lose the right back in the upcoming window.

The United boss is thought to be wary of his shortage of full-back options, with Antonio Valencia and Diogo Dalot both ruled out through injury at present.

Ashley Young has started each of United’s last six Premier League games ahead of Darmian but it is thought that Mourinho wants to keep the Italy international on his books to provide cover for both full-back positions.

Darmian has a contract at Old Trafford that runs until the end of the season, but United have the option to extend the deal by a further 12 months.

Mourinho was effusive in his praise of Darmian’s professionalism amid rumors of a possible departure in the summer.

“For me, it’s good news that Matteo is staying,” the United manager said.

“He’s always an option for us; he’s always a reliable player. We know that his performance level is one where we know that he always does a job for the team – right-back, left-back, starting, on the bench – he always does it.”

Matteo Darmian is an Italian professional footballer who currently plays as a full-back for English club Manchester United and the Italy national team.

He began his career at Milan, making his Serie A debut at the age of 17. In 2009, he joined Padova on loan, whom he helped avoid relegation from Serie B in his only season there. He then signed for Palermo in 2010, and one year later joined Torino, where he played for four seasons.