Chelsea's decision to allow Nemanja Matic join Premier League rivals Manchester United is a risk, according to former goalkeeper Mark Bosnich. Matic, 28, is poised to become United's third summer signing after the Red Devils agreed a deal believed to be worth £45m with the Premier League champions for the Serbia international, who will link up with former boss Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.

Antonio Conte's men have faced substantial criticism in recent days with many questioning the logic behind allowing one of their first-choice midfielders leave for a perceived title rival.

Bosnich admitted that he could understand his former club's decision to sell the Serbian if he was unhappy with life at Stamford Bridge but drew comparisons with the imminent transfer and Manchester United's signing of Eric Cantona, who led the Red Devils to five straight Premier League titles between 1992 and 1997.

"I wouldn't say it's crazy but it's a risk and we have seen that," the Australian told talkSPORT. "It can go all the way back to Eric Cantona being sold by Leeds to Manchester United, which completely swung them around way back when the Premier League started.

"I always think the club that's selling has the inside track in terms of fitness and things like that. The bottom line remains if the player does want to leave, if he wants to reunite with Jose Mourinho, there's no use keeping a player in the dressing room that is unhappy.

"You get the best possible price for him and wish him all the best. He was outstanding in his time at Chelsea and, obviously, Chelsea will have a replacement in mind to bring in."

Conte has already signed midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko this summer but is keen to bolster engine room following the departure of Matic. The Blues are believed to be interested in Bayern Munich's Renato Sanches, who is allowed to leave the Allianz Arena on loan.

Manchester United were rumoured to be interested in Sanches but their need for a new central midfielder has been quelled by the signing of Matic. Along with the former Benfica star, the Times report that Mourinho's men are still pursuing a deal for Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic but are unwilling to meet the Italian outfit's £48.5m asking price for the Croatia international.

Despite their reservations over a potential fee, the Red Devils are hopeful they will soon be able to conclude a deal for the former Wolfsburg star, who rejected the opportunity to talk about his future on Sunday (30 July).

Marouane Fellaini and Nemanja Matic
Matic will sport Manchester United colours during the upcoming campaign. Getty Images