Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is set to use defender Matteo Darmian as bait in signing Chelsea star Nemanja Matic. The midfielder played under the Portuguese tactician when the latter was in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho was sacked from his job at the west London club last December and returned to management after the Red Devils appointed him as Louis van Gaal's successor. Since taking the charge at Old Trafford, the ex-Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss wants to raid his former club this summer, reports the Mirror.
Darmian arrived in England from Torino last summer and the Italian international has had a mixed start in his first season with the 20-time English champions. He can play as a right-back and in the left-back position, but the versatile defender is not included in the 53-year-old manager's plan at United.
Italy coach Antonio Conte will join Chelsea after the Azzuri's campaign in the European championship in France. Darmian is currently on national duty and he is the former Juventus manager's first choice in the right-back position.
Conte wants to take Darmian along with him to Chelsea to strengthen the Blues' defence. Mourinho will use this as a bargaining chip to land Matic, who is reportedly identified as a midfield target.
Matic played under the new United manager in his previous club and Mourinho has set his sights in bringing him to Old Trafford. The Serbian international is high on his former manager's wishlist.
Mourinho wants his side to have more physical presence and as part of his plan, the Red Devils have already completed the signing of Eric Bailly, who joined the English side from Villarreal.
Should Matic make a move to Old Trafford, that will raise concerns over Morgan Schneiderlin's future at United. New Everton manager Ronald Koeman would be interested in taking him to Goodison Park, if the Premier League giants sanction the Frenchman's sale.