Saturday 24 February 2018

Mourinho ready to settle for third-choice midfield target Matic


Nemanja Matic
Nemanja Matic

Matt Law

Jose Mourinho is facing the prospect of having to take his third-choice midfield target Nemanja Matic in what is proving to be a frustrating summer for Manchester United.

Tottenham's Eric Dier and Roma's Radja Nainggolan are believed to have been Mourinho's first and second picks in midfield, but United have made little progress on either man.

They are more confident on Matic, though, who has so far refused to sign a new Chelsea contract and is set to face increased competition at Stamford Bridge with the anticipated arrival of Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco.

Chelsea would rather not sell Matic, but will have to listen to an offer in the region of £40 million for a player whose contract expires in two years and turns 29 on August 1.

United are waiting for Chelsea to complete the signing of Bakayoko from Monaco before making their move for Matic, but are aware the Serb is interested in heading to Old Trafford.

Matic can earn more than £150,000 a week by joining United and is apparently happy to link up with Mourinho again, despite the pair sharing an up-and-down relationship at Stamford Bridge.

It was Mourinho who instructed Chelsea to resign Matic from Benfica in January 2014 and he was crucial to the club's Premier League title success the following season.

However, Matic was among Chelsea's worst performers in Mourinho's doomed third season. The fact Mourinho looks set to be reunited with Matic underlines the difficult summer United are enduring.

They believed they had clinched the signing of Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann before the 26-year-old decided to remain in Spain, while another of Mourinho's targets, Romelu Lukaku, prefers a move to Chelsea. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport