What’s the story?
According to the Mirror, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is set to raid former club Chelsea with a shock swoop for midfielder, Nemanja Matic. With the departure of Morgan Schneiderlin, Matic has emerged as a summer target for Mourinho as the United boss continues his squad overhaul at Old Trafford.
The report also added that while Atletico Madrid superstar, Antoine Griezmann is the top priority in the summer, Matic holds an equal importance in Mourinho’s plans.
In case you didn’t know...
The Serbian first arrived in Chelsea in 2009 from Slovak club MFK Kosice. However, he left for Vitesse in a loan move and then permanently for Benfica. It was Mourinho who brought him back to Stamford Bridge in 2014 for a fee of £21 million. His addition proved to be crucial, as he was one of the integral members of Chelsea’s title winning squad in 2014/15.
The heart of the matter
The Blues are already reeling at the prospect of losing star striker Diego Costa in the winter, after his reported bust-up with boss Antonio Conte and the fitness coach amid interest from the cash-rich Chinese Super League. And now, with Mourinho set to raid them for Matic, they have been dealt yet another blow.
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United, meanwhile, banked in £22 million earlier for out-of-favour midfielder Schneiderlin. With Micheal Carrick not getting any younger, Mourinho is looking to bring in a suitable replacement to partner Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba in the centre of the field.
What Carrick does for United is a difficult job. Whenever he has started, United have not lost, and the Englishman will leave a gaping hole whenever he decides to hang his boots. Nevertheless, the Portuguese boss believes that Matic could flourish in the holding role alongside Herrera.
Reportedly, Mourinho is targeting four new signings in the summer and will only sell during the January transfer window. As his reputation goes, the Portuguese wants the business done early and has already handed club vice chairman Ed Woodward his list of targets.
Matic, who is 28, has a reputation for being a destroyer in midfield. His ability to break down opposition attacks and start counter attacks for his own team has been lauded by one and all. However, he did have a bit of a falling out with Mourinho during the course of the previous season. It remains to be seen whether he is willing to put aside his differences and work with his former boss yet again.