Manchester United have ended their efforts to bring Fabinho to the club this summer – and will instead focus their energies on signing Nemanja Matic from Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho has made the acquisition of a new holding midfielder one his main areas of focus this summer and was thought to have made the Monaco star his top target.
But with a deal for the Brazilian reportedly set to cost the club in excess of £50million, United and Mourinho will instead focus their energies on bringing in Matic, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Fabinho enjoyed a stellar season for Monaco as the club ended PSG’s monopoly of Ligue 1 and also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League, but the paper say that despite being represented by Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes, the player is no longer seen as one of the four key signings Ed Woodward has been tasked with the responsibility of securing.
United’s executive vice chairman is working through a wanted list that includes a central defender, central midfielder, winger and striker.
He has already agreed a fee of £30.7m for Benfica centre-back Victor Lindelof and is hoping to wrap up the signing of Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, which is expected to set the club back a further £60million.
Ivan Perisic looks increasingly likely to provide United with the quality they are seeking from the wings and with that deal likely to cost around £40million, United will then look to conclude their summer business with a deal for Serbian Matic, who is set to link up with Mourinho for the third time in his career.
It’s believed Chelsea will allow Matic to leave this summer for a fee of around £22million; that deal being given the green light as soon as Antonio Conte’s side have secured the capture of Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco.
A swoop for Matic will also end Mourinho’s quest to find a long-term successor to Michael Carrick. The veteran midfielder has been handed a new one-year deal at Old Trafford, but Mourinho wants a long-term anchor in the heart of midfield, and Matic certainly fits the bill.