The big news yesterday before the Bakayoko signing was basically confirmed last night was that Nemanja Matić has continued to train on his own at Cobham, which, as the Telegraph’s report puts it, means that “Chelsea’s players are convinced Matic is on the brink of leaving”. While the rest of the team (minus any new Loan Army members like Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kurt Zouma) has been taking to Conte’s double sessions to start gearing up for the new season, Matić has been training by himself off to the side.
Bakayoko to Chelsea from Monaco almost done. £40m fee agreed. Medical soon. Likely to mean Matic is leaving— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) July 13, 2017
According to the Telegraph, Matić “wants” to join Manchester United to play under old boss José Mourinho once again, but United’s signing of Romelu Lukaku has “complicated” that deal because there is plenty of room in football transfers for pettiness and the Blues would probably also not wish to strengthen a rival. Chelsea would no doubt prefer to sell to Inter Milan instead, who registered interest in the £40m-rated midfielder earlier this week. Chelsea might even take something less than £40m from Inter — €39m? — though obviously a lot of that would depend on Matić himself being open to a move to Italy.
Either way, Matić, who will turn 29 in a couple weeks, looks close to an exit from Chelsea, again, 3.5 years after returning from Benfica and 6.5 years after being part of the David Luiz deal.