Chelsea have emerged as rivals to Manchester United in the chase for Blaise Matuidi, 29. The French international has been told he can leave Paris St. Germain this summer provided his £40m valuation is met.
Jose Mourinho is long-standing admirer of the midfield enforcer and wants to pair him with Paul Pogba, 23, in the centre of his reshaped Manchester United side. Talks with Juventus have stalled over payments to Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, and reports in the Spanish media claim that the player’s medical was cancelled by the fiery Italian.
The impasse meant United pressed the pause button in their pursuit of Matuidi, opening the door for Chelsea to make contact with his representatives. Antonio Conte has already landed N’Golo Kante, 25, from Premier League champions, Leicester City, and is considering reprising the duo’s roles for the French international team this summer.
As the Euro 2016 hosts sailed through the group stages and first knockout round, Matuidi and Kante formed a strong barrier for a vulnerable French defence. Conte was impressed by the pair’s energy and efficiency, which is perfectly suited to his own preferred style of play.
The Italian has expressed his frustration at the slow-moving transfer market this summer and is desperate to stamp his own personality on the Chelsea squad. Matuidi is seen as the ideal statement of intent in that respect.
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