Romelu Lukaku’s decision to join Manchester United may have affected Antonio Conte’s Chelsea plans in more ways than one.
The Belgian has decided to make the move to Old Trafford for next season in a massive blow for Conte, however it may also block another potential deal.
Nemanja Matic had been certain to switch to Manchester United this summer for £40m, with the incoming of Tiemoue Bakayoko seemingly on the horizon.
The 22-year-old Monaco midfielder however is still not officially a Blues player, leaving Matic reportedly somewhat in limbo over his future at the club.
Chelsea’s players return to pre-season training on Monday, with the Serbian set to join them, and Lukaku’s deal might now mean that Matic does not make the switch to United.
Despite obviously playing in completely different positions, the Blues may not want to appear to be selling their players to a Premier League rival after they have just taken one of their top targets.
Bakayoko is still expected to become a Chelsea player this summer, with it being more of a matter of when rather than if for the deal to be completed.
His arrival may well jeopardise Matic’s playing time in the first team and so the 28-year-old could still make an exit, depending on if Conte wants to keep him as a potential back-up as well.
United do not want to give up on the chase for Matic, with Jose Mourinho wanting to bring in a defensive midfielder this summer to allow Paul Pogba to play a more attacking role.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier is also on the list for Mourinho, however football.london understands that Spurs will not listen to any offers for their player.
Chelsea may well still be tested then in their resolve in keeping Matic, is United continue to pursue the £40m deal.
Meanwhile, the future of Nathanial Chalobah has still not been rectified, with several clubs, including Watford, keeping tabs on the midfielder.