Serie A side Inter Milan have become realistic contenders to sign Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic, according to reports.
The Serbian has been the subject of increased speculation in recent weeks with Arsenal understood to have joined long-term admirers Manchester United in the chase for the 28-year-old.
However, with the Blues thought to be intent on avoiding a sale to a Premier League rival and United’s possible interest in Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, a move abroad may now be more likely.
The Evening Standard claimed earlier this week that Inter made contact with the Blues over the possibility of taking Matic to Milan and they are now believed to be in talks over a deal.
Inter are reportedly ready to agree a fee in the region of £34.5million for the Serbian international and both parties are keen to get a deal done as soon as possible.
Matic, along with Diego Costa, has been left out of Chelsea’s pre-season squad to tour the Far East, leading to rumours that a deal for the midfielder could be close.
He has been an instrumental figure in the Blues side that have won Premier League titles in two out of the last three seasons but Tiemoue Bakayoko’s imminent arrival from Monaco is likely to spell the end of his time at Stamford Bridge.
Meanwhile, Inter could have competition from their own league for Matic, with the Daily Express claiming that Juventus have made a £40million offer.