Manchester United are reportedly closer to sealing a deal for Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic as Juventus are now targeting Blaise Matuidi.
According to a report by The Independent, Juventus are focusing on signing PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi, thus clearing up Manchester United’s path to land Nemanja Matic from Chelsea.
The Italian champions were believed to be the front-runners for Matic with Chelsea preferring to sell the 28-year-old Serb to a club outside the Premier League. However, Matic was earlier reported to favour a move to Manchester United, which could possibly be why Juventus are targeting Matuidi.
In fact, one might even consider Matuidi their first choice since the Italian champions were poised for a deal last summer before a move failed to materialise. Things are different this time though. PSG are looking to re-build their team after losing out on the Ligue 1 title, which could let Juve secure a deal for Matuidi with relative ease.
This removes a major hurdle for Manchester United, though, as the Red Devils have been targeting Matic for a while now, and could finally be close to securing a move for the Serb.
Matic rejoined Chelsea from Benfica in 2014 and it has been a rather topsy-turvy ordeal for the midfielder so far. Although he managed to cement a position for himself as the Blues romped to a title victory in 2015, he was out of form for a major chunk of the 2015/16 season as Chelsea finished 10th in the Premier League.
The Blues came back with a vengeance and reclaimed the Premier League title this past season, and Matic once again played a key role for his side. The player does have the tendency to blow hot and cold at time, which is perhaps why Conte signed Tiemoue Bakayoko in an attempt to strengthen the midfield.
Bakayoko’s arrival can potentially reduce Matic to being a bit-part player since N’Golo Kante has been a rock for Chelsea. Hence, a move to join Jose Mourinho at Manchester United can greatly benefit Matic.
The former Chelsea manager currently has the likes of Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick as his options in midfield but Carrick has slowed down and cannot play week in week out.
United, thus, need a solid presence to guard the defence while also providing Pogba greater scope to play freely. With Juventus seemingly out of the picture, Mourinho is likely to make a move soon to secure a deal for Nemanja Matic, and it remains to be seen if the player makes his way to Old Trafford.