With Chelsea completing the £40 million signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco last week, it’s looking more and more likely that Nemanja Matic will leave Stamford Bridge in the summer. Manchester United have been constantly linked with the Serbian and Antonio Conte has dropped the biggest hint yet that he’s preparing for life without the midfielder by leaving Matic out of Chelsea’s 25-man squad for their pre-season tour of China and Singapore.
Source: Chelsea Football Club via Facebook
The Serbian was a mainstay of the Chelsea team that galloped to the League title last year and formed an impressive partnership alongside France’s midfield dynamo N’Golo Kante. However, with the signing of the aforementioned Bakayoko, Matic’s place in the Blues’ starting line up looks increasingly under threat. Jose Mourinho seems keen on bolstering his options in the centre of the park and has been a keen admirer of Matic for some time, bringing the player back to Chelsea from Benfica in January 2014, with his side subsequently winning the title the following season.
With club stalwart Michael Carrick coming to the end of an illustrious career with the Reds and Ander Herrera looking set to deservedly sign an improved deal with United, Mourinho will be looking for an equally adept defensive partner for the Spanish midfielder in order to allow world-record signing Paul Pogba to roam further up the field – a position in which the Frenchman flourished for Juventus in previous years. Pogba enjoyed what most will consider as a reasonably successful first season with United but fans will be expecting more from the French midfielder this campaign and a foray forward may just be what he needs in order to justify his mammoth price tag.
The Manchester United manager has already bolstered his defensive and attacking options with the signings of Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukuaku respectively and arrival of Matic, should it happen, would no doubt be welcomed by the United faithful. Given the interest Mourinho has showed in signing him in the past, it’s hardly surprising that the Matic is as short as 4/7 to be reunited with his old boss before the end of the transfer window. Given these short odds, the £30 free bet no deposit offers by UK bookmakers makes a punt a little more appealing for anyone wishing to roll the dice on the big Serbian’s future.
As with any transfer rumour, there are many twists, turns and snags along the way and the Nemanja Matic saga doesn’t look to be any different. Make no mistake about it, United beating Chelsea to the punch in their pursuit of former Blue’s striker Lukaku earlier in the month left a bitter taste in the mouth and this could lead to Conte remaining stubborn on the transfer of the big Serbian. The Red Devils also reportedly have other irons in the fire and have been linked with Tottenham’s England international Eric Dier and more recently Everton’s young starlet Ross Barkley.
Additionally, with promising young midfielder Reuben Loftus-Cheek signing for Crystal Palace on a season-long loan and Nathaniel Chalobah signing for Watford on a five-year deal earlier on this month, it could be argued that Chelsea are light in the middle and that letting Matic go would be a serious oversight, especially if one of Fabregas, Kante or Bakayoko pick up any sort of injury. One thing’s for sure, the Matic to United story looks set to run right up until a ball is kicked and it remains to be seen whether Blue or Red is more of the Serbian’s colour.