Juventus’ approach was rebuffed by Matic, who wants to move to Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea have at least consented to allow Nemanja Matic to join Premier League rivals Manchester United in a £40 million deal that should be wrapped up next week.

Jose Mourinho hits back at Antonio Conte with not-so-subtle dig

The Serbian international was not selected for the club’s pre-season tour of Asia, instead forced to train alone at the club’s Cobham base after asking to leave this summer.

Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his desire to sign a new central midfielder to provide balance to the side and made Matic – who he signed for Chelsea – one of his top targets.

Mourinho has made no secret of his desire to sign a midfielder and a winger (Picture: Getty)

And now, according to the Daily Mail, the deal has finally been given the green light by Chelsea, who had initially hoped they might be able to sell him abroad instead, and should be announced in the coming days.

Juventus had rivalled United for Matic’s signature, but were unwilling to match the fee offered by United and offered the 28-year-old a significantly less lucrative, and shorter, contract.

Nemanja Matic's 2016/17 Premier League statsAppearances35Assists7Tackles + assists P/G3Goals1


Chelsea will net £40m for a player that anchored the midfield in two Premier League title wins, though manager Antonio Conte could yet hold up the deal.

While the Italian is happy to sell Matic, he wants to bring in another midfielder before signing off on the deal, though United are confident of landing their third summer signing before the UEFA Super Cup.

Matic became a key cog of Mourinho’s midfield in his second spell at Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

Mourinho has spoken previously of his desire to add two more new faces to his squad having already secured centre-back Victor Lindelof and striker Romelu Lukaku for over £100m combined.

Speaking in the United States, he explained: ‘I would like one player [to be] a midfield player, [that] would give me more options to the balance and the team.

United still hope to land Perisic, but negotiations with Inter are proving difficult (Picture: Getty)

‘Another one an attacking player, especially that can play through the wings to give me more attacking options but I never speak about players that belong to other teams.’

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The winger is thought to be Ivan Perisic, though a deal has stalled as Inter play hard ball over a fee for the Croatian – who scored against Chelsea in Singapore on Saturday.

The Italian giants are believed to be holding out for £50m for the winger and have also asked for Anthony Martial in part exchange, a price Mourinho and United are unwilling to pay.

MORE: Antonio Conte admits he is in the dark over Nemanja Matic transfer from Chelsea to Manchester United

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