United poised to com­plete Matic sign­ing from Chelsea

Galatasaray poised for talks with United over buy­ing Fel­laini

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Front Page - DAVID HYT­NER, FABRIZIO RO­MANO and EMRE SARIGUL

Manch­ester United are poised to com­plete the pur­chase of Ne­manja Matic from Chelsea for a fee of around ¤45 mil­lion and are due to hold talks with Galatasaray at the start of the week over a deal to sell Marouane Fel­laini.

Matic was hav­ing a med­i­cal at United yes­ter­day and his sign­ing would be a sig­nif­i­cant boost to man­ager Jose Mour­inho af­ter United failed in their ef­forts to pur­chase Eric Dier from Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur.

Ju­ven­tus were also keen on Matic but the mid­fielder pre­ferred a move to Old Traf­ford to re­unite with Mour­inho, who brought him back to Chelsea in Jan­uary 2014.

Hard bar­gain

Talks be­tween United and Chelsea over a fee have taken some time, with the clubs ini­tially sub­stan­tially apart over the price.

Chelsea had set their sights on re­ceiv­ing ¤55mil­lion and it is not yet clear what the fee will be for the 28-year-old. They were par­tic­u­larly keen to drive a hard bar­gain with United af­ter miss­ing out to them over the sign­ing of Ever­ton’s Romelu Lukaku.

A pic­ture cir­cu­lated on Twit­ter pur­port­ing to show Matic in United train­ing kit and wear­ing num­ber 31, which has been va­cant since Bas­tian Sch­we­in­steiger’s de­par­ture. Chelsea left Matic out of their tour to Asia to al­low him to fi­nalise a move.

Asked about the pos­si­bil­ity of a re­union fol­low­ing United’s 3-0 pre-sea­son friendly win against Valerenga in Oslo last night, Mour­inho said: “I’m wait­ing for news.

“I know that he wants that very, very much and when a player wants very, very much the chance is big­ger, the chance is big­ger, so I think we have a chance but in foot­ball un­til it’s of­fi­cial, I saw so many things hap­pen that I refuse to say more than I am telling you now.”

Chelsea spent £21 mil­lion just over three and a half years ago to buy Matic from Ben­fica for a sec­ond spell at Stam­ford Bridge.


Next on Ju­ven­tus’s list of mid­field tar­gets are Paris Saint-Ger­main’s Blase Ma­tu­idi and Se villa’ s Steven N’Zonzi. Galatasaray are con­fi­dent of se­cur­ing Fel­laini with the Turk­ish club’s pres­i­dent, Dur­sun Ozbek, or an­other board mem­ber due in Manch­ester to­day or to­mor­row to fi­nalise a trans­fer.

An agree­ment has been reached in prin­ci­ple with Fel­laini over a four-year con­tract worth in the re­gion of ¤4m, which would make him their high­est-paid player. The 29-year-old joined United from Ever­ton for ¤30m i n 2013.

Galatasaray, who re­cently parted ways with Dutch coach Wes­ley Snei­jder, are also in talks with the Manch­ester City mid­fielder Fer­nando but Fel­laini is their pri­or­ity.

How­ever, Mour­inho added: “It’s eas­ier for Galatasaray to get me than Marouane. If they need a man­ager, they can try and have a chance, but Marouane? For­get it. He’s too im­por­tant for me.”

Ne­manja Matic: Had a med­i­cal at United yes­ter­day

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