Chelsea’s hopes of signing Alex Sandro this summer could hinge on the future of midfielder Nemanja Matic.
The Blues are set to step up their efforts to sign new wing-backs following the purchases of Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko and club-record transfer of Alvaro Morata to add to freebie Willy Caballero.
And Sandro is their top target to strengthen their left-hand side, with Antonio Conte’s determination to conclude a deal increased after missing out on Real Madrid full-back Danilo to Manchester City.
The Chelsea manager may hold an ace up his sleeve in Matic, whose future is yet to be resolved amid links to Manchester United and Juventus and the Blues may use the Serie A side’s interest in the player to their advantage in the chase to sign Sandro.
United’s confidence over a deal for Matic has increased, with some suggestions that Roman Abramovich will countenance the transfer of a player who has been a great servant in helping Chelsea to two Premier League titles in three seasons.
But Juventus retain an interest in Matic and with Conte having brought Bakayoko to the club in a £35m deal and Cesc Fabregas set to play an increased role next season, the Serb seems surplus to requirements.
Chelsea’s best chance of landing the Brazilian then may be in including Matic in any deal to lower the price down, prevent Manchester United from being strengthened while also getting a player not needed off the wage bill.
The Blues have already seen a significant bid turned down for the Juventus player, with the Serie A side’s general manager Giuseppe Marotta informing Corriere della Sera of the opening gambit.
“Chelsea made a very big offer for Alex Sandro,” Marotta confirmed.
“We said no, but today players are masters of their own destiny.”
Sandro is believed to be valued around the £61m mark but still has three years to run on his current deal, with Juventus prepared to offer him an increase on his £75,000-a-week wages while Matic is under contract until 2019 at Stamford Bridge.