Jose Mourinho has made signing Nemanja Matic in the summer a priority, according to reports.
According to the Mirror, Antoine Griezmann remains Mourinho’s primary target in the summer, but he has given equal importance to the signing of Nemanja Matic.
Matic first joined the Blues in 2009, but was sold back to Benfica for £21m in a swap deal for David Luiz. Mourinho was the one who brought Matic back to Stamford Bridge in 2014 for £22m.
Matic has been a key player for Chelsea this season and has been reborn after his difficult season at Stamford Bridge last term. He has made 20 appearances in the league – two of which have come as a substitute – and has picked up 6 assists although he has yet to score a goal.
Alongside N’Golo Kante, Matic has been key in breaking down opposing attacks as Chelsea have rocketed to the top of the league. He is averaging 2 tackles per game, and also makes an average of 1.7 interceptions and 1.4 clearances per 90 minutes.
Manchester United have previously been linked with Matic. Mourinho had reportedly approached Chelsea for the player when he took over at Manchester United in the summer, with Matteo Darmian said to have been offered as a part of the deal.
However nothing materialised in the end and Matic stayed at Chelsea. It isn’t surprising to see Mourinho renew his interest in the Serbian international this summer, given the midfield situation at United.
With Michael Carrick’s footballing career slowly coming to an end, given that he is 35 years of age, United need an heir to his midfield position and Matic might just fit the bill. Morgan Schneiderlin was also sold to Everton earlier this month and it seems certain that Mourinho will be looking to strengthen his midfield come the summer.
Whether Matic will want the reunion with Mourinho is another question though. Mourinho had a difficult time at Chelsea last season before he was fired by the club, and fell out with several of his players. Matic himself admitted that Mourinho’s treatment of him during the game against Southampton made him feel “terrible.”
Another big issue in signing the midfielder will be Chelsea’s willingness to sell. Matic is a key part of Antonio Conte’s side and it is highly unlikely that the Italian tactician will be willing to let him go. Chelsea also have no financial reason to sell Matic, so unless he is deemed surplus to requirements, this deal seems quite unrealistic, despite what the Mirror claim.