Nemanja Matic may have to force Manchester United move with Chelsea preferring to sell to Inter or Juventus
Juventus have joined Internazionale in making a play to sign Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic, although the 28-year-old’s first choice remains Manchester United.
It is now almost certain that the Serbian international will leave Stamford Bridge after the Premier League champions agreed the purchase of Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko, but the destination remains unclear.
It had been thought that Chelsea would allow him to go to United and reunite with old boss Jose Mourinho but, already mindful of allowing a rival to strengthen themselves, the London club are now even less inclined to do the deal after their purchase of Romelu Lukaku was hijacked by their former manager.
They want to sell abroad, and have found willing buyers in Inter and now Juventus.
While the latter are hopeful they can convince Matic to move to Turin given their restored status as one of the Champions League’s best-performing clubs, some close to the situation feel there is a possibility that Matic could attempt to put his foot down and insist on only going to Old Trafford if he is to leave Chelsea, such is his desire to go there.
United sources have recently been less optimistic about a deal for Matic given the purchase of Lukaku, but it is also felt that the club will make one more try, especially since Tottenham Hotspur are proving just as difficult – if not even more difficult – to negotiate with over alternative option Eric Dier.
Any deal for Matic is likely to cost just under £40m, and Mourinho has instructed United to sign one of the Serbian or Dier. They may find tougher competition for Matic in Juventus, however, since the Serie A winners can put forward a persuasive case to join.
Juve’s hand is also strengthened by the fact Chelsea are themselves chasing full-back Sandro, so Matic could serve as a makeweight in that deal, or even smooth negotiations in the way Wayne Rooney’s move to Everton did when United signed Lukaku.