Who Man Utd see as Nemanja Matic replacement ahead of summer transfer window
Manchester United see Birmingham City star Jude Bellingham as the ideal replacement for Nemanja Matic, reports say. The Serbia international has impressed at Old Trafford of late, helping the club keep 14 clean sheets from the last 20 matches he’s played. But the Red Devils are still looking to the future.
Last month, United decided to trigger the option of a one-year contract extension in Matic’s contract.
It signalled quite a turnaround for the Serbia international, who had been widely tipped to leave Old Trafford during the January transfer window.
Matic has been impressive of late, starring in United’s 11-game unbeaten run before the coronavirus pandemic brought football to a crashing halt.
Despite that, however, The Athletic say United are still eyeing a long-term replacement for the former Chelsea star.
And Bellingham has the support of the Old Trafford hierarchy, with the 16-year-old sparkling in the Championship this season.
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However, signing him will be far from straightforward.
Borussia Dortmund are also keen on Bellingham and have a good track record with young players, having seen the likes of Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland impress.
They could even fund a move for Bellingham by selling Sancho to United, with the forward Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s No 1 transfer target.
The England international has dazzled in Germany, being directly involved in 29 league goals from 23 Bundesliga appearances.
And United are optimistic about signing the 20-year-old, despite Chelsea and Real Madrid also being interested.
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Meanwhile, former Red Devils defender Rio Ferdinand recently endorsed the club’s pursuit of Bellingham – hailing the Birmingham star for his maturity.
“Hopefully that let’s Man United in the back door and take him – unless we’re at the front of queue already,” Ferdinand said after reading a rumour that the coronavirus crisis could boost their chances of securing the player’s signature.
“Jude Bellingham: Huge talent. Huge talent.
“Really good-looking footballer in the way he plays, the balance, the poise he’s got, the maturity at such a young age. I want to see more.
“But you’re buying this kid, the price tag is phenomenal, £30million for a kid, for a 16-year-old boy. It’s unbelievable.
“But it’s the way of the world now, and the way you’ve got to think about it is: if you’re paying £30m and we keep him for 10 years it’s money well spent.
“It’s a gamble, it’s an expensive gamble, but the kid – if you’re playing in the Championship and doing what he’s doing and looking the player he is – it’s a gamble, yeah, but a calculated one.
“I think he’s someone I would 100% take.
“If I’m Man United now, go in and get him. You can understand why the likes of Borussia Dortmund are trying to get him, trying to take him. The kid seems to me to have it all.”
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