Jose Mourinho is a keen admirer of Matic, with the Serb forming an integral part of his Chelsea midfield which won the 2014-15 Premier League title.
It was Matic’s second spell at Stamford Bridge, traded to Benfica in 2011 as part of the deal which saw David Luiz move from the Estadio do Luz. Mourinho re-signed Matic for £21m. That’s considerably more than the £1.5m the Blues originally paid Košice for his services in 2009.
Mourinho is now looking to replace Michael Carrick at the heart of the Manchester United midfield. The Portuguese, whose father Felix passed away recently, originally targeted Tiemoue Bakayoko but it seems certain the Monaco player is moving to Chelsea in a £40m deal.
With Eric Dier priced out of the market by Tottenham, Matic emerged as the next target on the list. United are increasingly confident of prising him away from south-west London as the Blues midfield becomes over-crowded.
The Old Trafford club depart for the United States in a fortnight’s time on a pre-season tour and Mourinho is eager to get this deal completed, as well as the signing of £70m striker, Alvaro Morata, from Real Madrid.
It would take his spending over £150m this summer with more activity believed to be on the cards once his core signings have been made.