Manchester United have got a boost in their pursuit of Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic after one of his pursuers – Juventus – turned their attention elsewhere.

The Italian giants were ready to battle the Red Devils for the signing of the Serbian midfielder, but have switched their focus on Paris Saint-Germain's Blaise Matuidi after they were made aware about Matic's preference to join the Old Trafford club.

According to the Independent, Antonio Conte is ready to offload Matic this summer following the arrival of Tiemoue Bakayoko from AS Monaco with Mourinho ready to reunite with his former player as he seeks to further strengthen his midfield. Chelsea would prefer to sell abroad rather than their direct rivals but United are ready to meet the Blues' £40m-plus valuation, which is unlikely to be met by Juventus.

The Italian champions were close to signing Matuidi last summer, but could not complete the move after failing to reach an agreement with the French club. The France international is available for far lesser than Matic, but the report claims that Juventus will have to improve their initial offer of around £15m.

Mourinho has confirmed that he is looking to sign a defensive midfielder this summer and has been linked with a number of players. Apart from Matic, United were also linked with moves for Eric Dier, who was their primary target, and Renato Sanches, who was made available for transfer by Bayern Munich.

The Portuguese manager was keen to bring the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder to Old Trafford, but Mauricio Pochettino instructed the club's hierarchy to turn down any approach for Dier's services this summer. While Sanches is available, it is understood that the Bundesliga outfit are looking for a season-long loan rather than a permanent deal.

Matic has been deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge after he was left out of Chelsea's pre-season tour squad and the midfielder is keen to reunite with his former manager at Old Trafford. Juventus backing out of the deal is likely to make it easier for United to convince Chelsea to sanction the midfielder's transfer to their direct rivals.

Nemanja Matic
Nemanja Matic played a key role in Chelsea's title winning campaign last season Getty