The future of Brazilian defender Danilo remains unclear with some reports linking the Manchester City star to Juventus, while elsewhere it has been suggested that a £13.25m bid by Inter Milan has been declined.
More recently, Italian media outlet Calciomercato claimed that City have offered the fringe full-back in a part-exchange deal for Joao Cancelo.
What we can state with some degree of certainty is that there’s a distinct likelihood the 27-year-old will bid farewell to the Premier League this summer after two seasons of residency, and should he indeed leave City, supporters are likely to be somewhat nonplussed given his standing at the Etihad Stadium.
Mendy. Have barely seen him for two seasons and promises much. Far from the finished article, though.
Danilo. Could argue finished product when purchased but was always gonna be a back up.
Ferna. Exiled in Ukraine for years. No one thought to take a punt on him until City did.
— SoccerPM (@SoccerPM) June 12, 2019
As a Blue myself I believe the tweet above to be a touch harsh but it does lean closer to the truth than falsehood.
After signing Danilo for £26.5m in 2017 the optimists among the City fan-base thought back to the player’s halcyon days at Porto, where it was commonplace to see him rampaging down the Dragoes’ right flank, executing step-overs for the sheer hell of it.
Pessimists, however, considered his prolonged struggle to make any sort of positive impact at Real Madrid. There he was a peripheral figure who lost his mojo to such an extent that his performances were often greeted by boos by the Madridistas.
So which Danilo has it been at the Etihad during two incredible years that have heralded back-to-back titles? The prince or the pauper?
It first needs reiterating that the versatile full-back was primarily bought as a back-up to Kyle Walker. During a transfer window that demanded a defensive over-haul, Pep Guardiola invested just shy of £100m on Benjamin Mendy and Walker, with Danilo brought in as cover for the pair.
With that in mind, my personal interpretation is that he did okay. He rarely let City down when called upon in his 22 league starts but he rarely excelled either.
A long-range strike against Burnley was a highlight. Elsewhere groans were not unknown for a series of misplaced passes and overall it would be fair to rate his stint as a mediocre 6/10.
What this means is that, should Danilo depart our shores in the weeks to come, he will do so to a tepid farewell. He will also do so as a two-time Premier League champion.
Which brings us to the remarkable thing about this unremarkable player. Aside from a breakthrough season with Santos and three successful years in Portugal, Danilo has carved out a career as the man who fills a hole and does so adequately.
He’s the name who prompts a shrug at best when it’s read out by the stadium announcer pre-match, sometimes even a tut. Yet his medals haul during a decade as a professional is little short of staggering.
At Santos he helped the Brazilian giants win the Copa Libertadores in 2011. In Porto he won the Primeira Liga two years running. He has won his league for the past three years running, twice with City and in his final campaign in Spain. Also at Madrid he was a Champions League winner for two consecutive years in addition to bringing home a FIFA Club World Cup.
Since 2016 Danilo has played a part in winning ten – count them, ten – major club honours.
This begs the question: has there ever been a more under-estimated talented who boasts a better C.V?
Surely somebody from Manchester United’s recent heyday is a contender and if so please let us know on Twitter.
If not, Danilo might just walk away with that crown.