Nemanja Matic is moving closer towards a move to Manchester United after agreeing personal terms with the Red Devils, according to Manchester Evening News. Matic has emerged as the likely defensive midfield signing for United in this summer transfer window, as manager Jose Mourinho wants to be reunited with the Serbian. There have been reports of United agreeing a fee with Monaco for Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, but Mourinho’s preference has largely been for experienced players and it would not be surprising to see him choose the 28-year-old over the 23-year-old.
Despite coming on the back of a successful season with Chelsea, rumours about Matic have been going around for the last months. Matic’s move to United has become likely once it became apparent that Chelsea would be signing a defensive midfielder. The Blues are closing in on Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko, who is expected to cost in the region of £35 million. Matic will be slightly more expensive at around £40 million if United meet the transfer demands of Chelsea.
Chelsea have not had a problem with selling their best players to the domestic rivals, as we have been able to sign Juan Mata in the past. Matic, though, is a surprise name to appear on the transfer market considering that the 28-year-old made 40 appearances in all competitions – an impressive figure considering that Chelsea were not in the Champions League last season.
One of the reasons for Matic seeking an exit is the desire to play under Jose Mourinho once again. It speaks volumes about the quality of Mourinho, as Matic and José hit a low point two years ago. Back in 2015, Matic was substituted 28 minutes after coming on as a substitute – much to the annoyance of the player.
Signing the Serbian midfielder may spell the end for Marouane Fellaini. Mourinho prefers a physical player, but even the Portuguese would be overwhelmed by the sheer number of players over six-foot in the squad. Matic is not a ready-made replacement for Michael Carrick, as the 28-year-old is a different type of player. Yet, he can go forward with the ball to great effect and may be used in tandem with Paul Pogba.