Manchester United rebuffed AC Milan and Inter Milan’s bids for midfielder Nemanja Matic in the summer, according to a report.
The powerful Serbian was one of Jose Mourinho’s most trusted performers at Old Trafford, but the former Chelsea man has played just 22 minutes in United’s first four Premier League games
Scott McTominay has been preferred by Solskjaer so far and the 31-year-old’s game time could well be at a premium this season.
It was reported early in August by the Daily Mirror and ESPN that Matic had expressed his desire to discuss his future with manager Solskjaer and that he could even consider leaving United.
Matic’s dilemma apparently caught the interest of Milan and rivals Inter, who were both linked with the Serbian, while only this week Calciomercato, reported that Inter boss Conte is readying a €25m approach for the midfielder when the transfer window reopens in January.
Now, journalist Duncan Castles says that both Milan clubs made bids for Matic, but United knocked back the interest.
“It’s not that he wanted to leave Manchester United, but his calculation was: ‘If Solskjaer doesn’t want to play me, I don’t want to be a bench player at Manchester United’,” Castles said, as cited in The Sun.
“‘If these two important clubs in Italy are interested in signing me and giving me a long-term contract at age 31, then the rational decision for me would be to pursue that option and go and play football in Italy, ‘cos I’d rather be playing football in Italy on a long-term contract than be on the bench for a manager who would prefer to have someone else in the first team in England.’
“United didn’t take up those offers because they felt that financially they weren’t high enough for them to sell Matic.
“So he was forced to remain at the club. He didn’t push for a transfer in the sense of going public and going down the various steps you can go down when you want to move elsewhere.
“And now he sees himself stuck on the bench with a team that has won just one of four games this season under Solskjaer’s direction and is on a run of just three wins in 16 in all competitive matches.”