Chelsea will punish Manchester United for hijacking their move for Romelu Lukaku by placing a tax on the Red Devils’ move for Nemanja Matic.
The Blues fully expected to sign Lukaku from Everton this summer but saw their move hijacked by United at the last minute.
Despite claims that Alvaro Morata was his priority, Conte was desperate to sign Lukaku and was furious at the club’s board for allowing a direct rival to swoop in.
Matic, 28, is keen on joining Manchester United and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has sanctioned the midfielder’s move to Old Trafford as a gesture of goodwill.
However, the Blues are wary of improving a title challenger and will place a ‘Lukaku’ tax on United’s deal for Matic as punishment for hijacking their move for the Belgian.
United have had two bids of £35m and £40m rejected for Matic and will likely have to reach a figure of £50m to sign the Serbian.
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Mourinho alluded to club’s resistance in the transfer market this week by saying the club will not bow to rivals’ demands for players but time is running out to sign a midfielder.
The Red Devils have a strong interest in Spurs ace Eric Dier but negotiations with Tottenham are likely to be difficult and United could be forced into paying a premium instead for Matic.