We’re a good few hours late to this bit of news, but I was hoping that a named journalist would want to put their byline behind this claim at some point. Alas, that has not happened.
So, here we have a line hidden towards the end of a story about Fabinho from the Press Association that was picked up by the Telegraph on Friday. Fabinho has been off-and-on linked with Manchester United (while fellow Monaco midfielder closes in on his move to Chelsea), and the PA were reporting on some quotes that Fabinho gave back in Brazil. The interesting part is this bit.
Tottenham's Eric Dier and Nemanja Matic at Chelsea are other midfield options said to be under consideration as United look to strengthen this summer. Reports that the latter has already verbally agreed personal terms have been dismissed by the club.
It was local rag Manchester Evening News who claimed a “verbal agreement” yesterday, and while that sounded tenuous, this denial comes across as even flimsier.
As it so often happens in Silly Season, we’re faced with a choice of whom to believe, a couple named journalists at local tabloid or a national news organization’s unattributed report. I can’t quite make up my mind. Matić leaving Chelsea would’t be all that surprising, though someone paying £40m for him would be. Mourinho keeping Matić as a transfer option in his back pocket also wouldn’t be surprising, though Chelsea being too willing to sell to a direct rival would be.