Reports: Chelsea willing to sell £40 million midfield star to Manchester United
Jose Mourinho is desperate for a reunion with Nemanja Matic
What's the story?
Chelsea are willing to sell midfield star Nemanja Matic to Manchester United, according to a report in British publication, Manchester Evening News. José Mourinho seeks to revamp his squad and is desperate to sign a defensive midfielder – a reunion with the Serbian midfielder he managed at Chelsea is on the cards, if Manchester United are willing to part with a fee of around £40 million.
José Mourinho is a huge fan of Nemanja Matic, convincing the Chelsea board to re-sign the Serbian midfielder when he took over the Blues in his second spell. Matic was the makeweight in the deal that saw David Luis move to Chelsea from Benfica, but Mourinho was convinced that Matic was pivotal to his plans - bringing him back to Chelsea for £21 million. The Serb played a crucial role alongside Cesc Fabregas as Chelsea went on to win the Premier League title under Jose Mourinho in 2014/15.
The heart of the matter
Manchester United have just experienced their worst ever season in the Premier League, finishing sixth with the least amount of wins they have managed in an EPL season. José Mourinho is certain that he has to revamp his midfield, to replace Michael Carrick and provide Paul Pogba with a midfield partner that can offer him the freedom to fulfill his potential.
Mourinho considers Matic the perfect player to form the base of his midfield alongside Pogba, although the Red Devils are also keen on a move for Tottenham star Eric Dier. The view within the Old Trafford boardroom is that negotiating with Daniel Levy will prove difficult, which would leave United in the lurch if a protracted move falls through.
Antonio Conte is willing to part with the Serbian, as he considers AS Roma's Radja Naingollan more suited to his all-action midfield alongside N'Golo Kante. Chelsea have conveyed that they're willing to listen to offers for Matic, according to the report, leading to Mourinho preparing a £40 million bid.
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Manchester United have the financial wherewithal to pay more for Matic, and Chelsea may be tempted to squeeze the Red Devils for more cash, although United will be keen on wrapping up this transfer before pre-season starts
Nemanja Matic is one of the best defensive midfielders in the world and it seems almost crazy that Chelsea are willing to let him go, much less that they will be strengthening a direct rival for the title in 2017/18. Yet, Roman Abramovic has done stranger things, and if Jose Mourinho can pull this off, it could arguably be a more important signing than any of the other blockbuster moves United have been rumoured to be considering.