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Chelsea Would Happily Sell Nemanja Matic To Man United To Land Their Primary Target

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Nemanja Matic of Chelsea celebrates after he scores to make it 4-2 during the Emirates FA Cup semi-final match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on April 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)

Selling players to title rivals is a dangerous practice, but Chelsea would seemingly have no problem when it comes to Nemanja Matic.

The Serbian midfielder battled with Cesc Fabregas for a starting spot in the Premier League champions’ starting eleven last season – and rather than make him compete for his place all over again next year, manager Antonio Conte is simply making him available for the right price.

The Times are reporting on Friday that Chelsea would sell Matic to Manchester United in order to speed up the process of bringing Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko to Stamford Bridge.

Monaco's French midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 football match between Monaco and Manchester City at the Stade Louis II in Monaco on March 15, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal GUYOT        (Photo credit should read PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea have agreed a fee of around £36m with the Ligue 1 winners for the French international, and all things going well he will become Conte’s first signing of the summer. One of the consequences of that deal apparently is that space needs to be created in the Chelsea midfield.

Fabregas seemed the more likely to move on given his relatively sporadic nature of his Premier League appearances last season (in the early part of the campaign at least), and this is seen as an effort by Conte to placate the Spanish international by removing a competitor for that place next to N’Golo Kante in the midfield.

Juventus are still thought to be interested, and were heavily linked with a move for him last summer, but if Jose Mourinho does decide to try and sign Matic for a second time, a significant roadblock has now been removed.

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22:  Chelsea player Nemanja Matic is congratulated by his mananger Jose Mourinho after the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at Britannia Stadium on December 22, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Once Bakayoko is signed, meanwhile, Conte will move on to other targets. Leandro Bonucci and Virgil van Dijk are the primary targets at central defence, while efforts to sign Juventus left-back Alex Sandro are ongoing.

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On this week’s Mixer Irish Football Podcast we spoke to Finn Harps striker Danny Morrissey, and looked at the League of Ireland sides’ Champions and Europa League draws.

https://soundcloud.com/punditarenairishfootball/we-chat-to-danny-morrissey-and-preview-the-european-fixtures

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Author: The PA Team

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