Manchester United close to signing £40m midfielder, move will be finalised this week – report

Manchester United may have dismissed reports about agreeing personal terms with Nemanja Matic ahead of a potential transfer, but it is looking increasingly likely that the deal would be completed. ESPN reports that the Serbian could be a Manchester United player by the end of this week. He could be the most expensive signing for United in the 2017 summer transfer window yet, but the record may be broken by the likes of Alvaro Morata – or even Cristiano Ronaldo – in the near future.

The 28-year-old has been at Chelsea – in his second spell – since 2014, and he has been one of the top defensive midfielders in the division. It is no surprise that he has been able to capture two Premier League titles in the last three years.

Jose Mourinho’s has identified strengthening the defensive midfield position as a key part of securing Manchester United’s success beyond Michael Carrick. The 35-year-old may have signed a contract extension until next summer, but he has been contemplating retirement even for the last 12 months.

Mourinho had identified Tiemoue Bakayoko as the primary target after watching the Frenchman excel at Monaco last season, but it appears that the 23-year-old is on the verge of moving to Chelsea. United’s attempts to sign Matic have so far been delayed only due to Bakayoko’s signing going through the final touches.

We have looked at the possibility of signing Bakayoko’s teammate Fabinho, who has also been impressive at Monaco. Yet, Mourinho appears to have given the green light for signing Matic primarily due to the Serbian’s experience of the Premier League compared to Fabinho, who is a relatively inexperienced at just 23.

A move for Tottenham’s Eric Dier was also on the cards, but United officials baulked upon learning about the £50 million valuation for the player.

United may end up paying up to £40 million for the Serbian, but we can expect an instant impact in the midfield. Fans can certainly envisage a midfield trio of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, and Nemanja Matic forming a powerful, yet skilful, combination in the middle of the park. Not many teams will want to go up against this midfield, and it could be the basis for our success next season. The summer transfer window does not officially start until July 1, but several clubs have already been in action to sign some big-name stars.

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