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Nemanja Matic wants to join José Mourinho at Manchester United — report

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Huh.

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

As Chelsea close in on a deal for Monaco midfielder Tiemoué Bakayoko, Nemanja Matic, the man who’s position in the team would be most affected by the arrival of the 22-year-old, could be exploring his options. According to Manchester Evening News, the middle of the pitch that Matic would thus prefer is now at Old Trafford rather than Stamford Bridge.

The report claims that United tried to bring Matic to Old Trafford last summer, but Chelsea manager Antonio Conte refused to sanction a transfer and instead managed to convince the Serbian Spiderbeast to stay and play a key role in the squad. But Mourinho has apparently not given up interest, and is hoping to use Matic to allow Paul Pogba to play in a "freer role". United are said to be interested in Matic's potential replacement, Bakayoko and Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier as well, but they believe it would be easier to arrange a transfer for Matic than for the others.

First Willian, now Matic. Linking coaches with their former players is tried and true rumor mill fodder, but that doesn’t mean these stories are entirely baseless. Chelsea are intent on improving and adding to the squad, and that may involve a few big names leaving, too. One thing we should keep in mind however is the recent success Serbian players have had in the Premier League — unimpressive loanee Danilo Pantic is the only other Serb on Chelsea’s books these days.