Manchester United have made former Chelsea starlet and current Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic their top transfer target for the summer, according to the Daily Express.
The 24-year-old has been among the best performers for Benfica this season impressing Sir Alex Ferguson, who is in the market to sign a midfielder with the impending retirement of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. However, the transfer fee is expected to pose a problem with the Serbian believed to have a release clause of £38m in his contract.
Matic was part of the Chelsea squad from 2009 to 2011 and was transferred to Benfica as part of a deal for defender David Luiz, who made the journey to Chelsea in exchange for the Serbian and £21m. However, the player has progressed by leaps and bounds during his stay at Benfica and has carved open a starting spot for himself in the latter half of the season. The midfielder has made 20 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring three goals in the process. Ferguson will be banking on compatriot Nemanja Vidic to be able to convince the 24-year-old to move back to England, when they report for international duty.
Ferguson has a lot of options in attacking midfield but lack a proper central midfielder other than Michael Carrick, who will turn 32 in July. Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell play higher up the field while Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are unlikely to extend his stay at the club beyond 2014. Recurring injuries to Anderson have cut his career short with United and has been linked with a move out of the club, leaving the Scotsman with an urgent vacancy in midfield.
Vidic on Manchester Derby
Nemanja Vidic has insisted that he will not be in contact with compatriots Alexander Kolarov and Matija Nastasic ahead of their crucial Premier League clash against Manchester City in the weekend. The Red Devils are currently 15 points ahead of reigning Champions City and need a win to put the title beyond doubt this season.
"I never speak before the game with an opponent. I don't like to speak about the game at all. I am good friends with Kolarov and Nastasic. But I don't like to talk at all. It's not happening - it's not something I like to talk about. I like to go there and do it. You must think about the game on game-day, not to waste energy before the game starts, otherwise you are tired," he told Manchester United's Official Website.