Atletico Madrid have reportedly joined the race to sign out-of-favour Manchester United star Nemanja Matic, who is also a target for AC Milan

According to a report by ESPN, Atletico Madrid are the latest club to be showing an interest in Nemanja Matic. The out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder is also on the radar of AC Milan and could be set for an Old Trafford departure in the January transfer window.

Matic was an instant success at Manchester United, playing a key role in the club’s best Premier League campaign in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era. However, the regression in his game has been equally quick, with the Serb losing mobility and pace at an alarming rate.

Under the tutelage of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the 31-year-old has seen a gradual drop in stature. In fact, Matic has barely featured for Manchester United in the first three months of the current season, although injury has also been the reason for his recent absence.

His two Premier League appearances this term have been a direct result of Paul Pogba’s injury-enforced absence and it is clear that the player is only a squad option now. The signs were visible ahead of the start of the season itself, with Matic reportedly holding showdown talks with Solskjaer to seek clarity over his Manchester United future.

A January exit beckons? (Photo by John Thys/AFP via Getty Images)

A January exit beckons? (Photo by John Thys/AFP via Getty Images)

It now appears as if a January move away from Old Trafford could be a possibility, a situation which has piqued the interest of Atletico Madrid, who have joined AC Milan in pursuit of the out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder.

Atletico Madrid signed Marcos Llorente from Real Madrid in the summer, with the Spaniard being the replacement for compatriot Rodri. But, three months into the season and Llorente has failed to carve out a place for himself in the first-team setup, with backup striker Ivan Saponjic the only senior squad member who has played fewer minutes than him.

With Llorente struggling to settle in at Wanda Metropolitano, Atletico Madrid are identifying options to provide better competition to Thomas Partey, as per the report. To that end, Manchester United star Matic has emerged as a viable target for the Colchoneros to pursue in the January transfer window.

At AC Milan, Ismael Bennacer has blown hot and cold early into his stint with the Serie A outfit. With Lucas Biglia already 33, the Rossoneri are in need of midfield reinforcements, making Matic a possible short-term solution.

Matic is reportedly ready to call it quits at Manchester United, something that is suggested by ESPN as well. With United yet to take up their option to extend his current deal by one year, cashing in on the Serb in January seems to be the best way forward, and it remains to be seen if either Atletico Madrid or AC Milan end up signing him when the transfer window reopens.

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