Manchester United and Arsenal are reportedly set to battle it out for the signature of Juventus midfielder and 2018 World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi.
As per a report from Italian outlet Calciomercato, Premier League heavyweights Manchester United and Arsenal are set to go head-to-head in the race to sign French midfielder Blaise Matuidi, who will be entering the final year of his contract with Juventus in the summer.
Matuidi arrived at Juventus in 2017 in a €30.5 million deal from PSG. Since joining, the 32-year-old has grown into a key figure in Turin, winning two Serie A titles already and looking on track for a third. Matuidi’s contract was set to expire at the end of the season. But, Juventus exercised the option to extend his stay by another year, so as to avoid the risk of losing him on a free transfer.
The Bianconeri are now believed to be looking to offload Matuidi in the summer for a fee. The 2018 World Cup winner’s situation has reportedly piqued the interest of Manchester United. The Red Devils have struggled with injuries in the midfield department this season, with both Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba spending a lot of time out on the sidelines.
Having failed to replace Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini last summer, Manchester United are intent on not repeating that mistake again this time out, especially with Nemanja Matic’s contract set to expire at the end of the season and Paul Pogba’s future at the club in doubt.
Matuidi, despite his wealth of experience, does not fit into the profile of players the Red Devils have been targeting under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Moreover, the midfielder will be 33 years of age in April, and will not be a long-term solution for the club. Yet, the 20-time English champions are monitoring the Frenchman’s situation with keen eye.
However, Manchester United will have to battle arch-rivals Arsenal, who are also interested in making a move for Matuidi in the summer window. The Gunners, who have seen their fortunes improve since Mikel Arteta took over the reins in December, are keen to add more stability to their midfield unit in the summer.
Granit Xhaka has improved considerably under the new manager and looks set to stay beyond the season, after his future at the club had been cast in doubts heading into the January window. But, there are question marks over the future of Matteo Guendouzi, who has been disciplined by the manager recently for his poor attitude in training.
Matuidi’s presence will add a sense of steel to the Arsenal midfield, no doubt. But, once again, the Frenchman will be anything but a long-term solution for the club, so it will be interesting to see whether Arteta pursues with this reported interest in the World Cup winner.
Along with Manchester United and Arsenal, Olympique Lyon are also interested in securing Matuidi’s services. It seems like the 32-year-old could very well be on his way out from Juventus this summer, but his next destination remains to be seen.