Manchester United close to landing Chelsea’s Matic

Manchester United are said to be close to luring Nemanja Matic from Chelsea, with reports suggesting a deal could even be in place before the end of the week.

Having secured UEFA Champions League football for next season after winning the UEFA Europa League last, a lasting bid for the Premier League title is next on Jose Mourinho’s agenda. The Portuguese spent heavily during his first summer as manager at Old Trafford, and the £30million arrival of Victor Lindelof last month will be the first signing of several more this time round.

Priority for the Reds boss is a new striker, following the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, last season’s leading goalscorer. Interest in Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann has cooled somewhat, and whilst Cristiano Ronaldo continues to be linked with a return to Manchester, it is his Real Madrid team-mate Alvaro Morata who will more than likely lead the line next term.

Mourinho is also keen to add more steel to his midfield options, and ESPN claim he is closing on a deal for his former Chelsea charge Matic. The Serbian international played a key role when the Blues won the title in 2015, and he also featured prominently when they won it last season. But the expected arrival of Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco will likely see him take a back seat.

This will be good news for Mourinho, who is said to be willing to part with around £40million of his summer budget to forge a reunion with a player he signed for his previous club from Benfica for half that fee. All being well, ESPN claim the transfer could even be arranged before the end of this week, allowing the midfielder to enjoy a full pre-season with United.

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