With it looking increasingly likely that Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic will be confirmed as a Manchester United player in the coming days, the Independent report that the club are still interested in a deal for Monaco star Fabinho.
The Brazilian has been linked with the club since January and could still remain a target for the Red Devils. However, given that he was expected to be added as a holding midfielder, what would he offer that Nemanja Matic doesn’t already bring to the table?
What would he bring that Nemanja Matic wouldn’t already offer?
The reports in the Independent claim that Jose Mourinho sees Fabinho as a right-back, rather than in the holding midfield role where he figured regularly for Monaco in their Champions League run and Ligue 1 victory.
Mourinho gave the Brazilian his debut at Real Madrid in that position and could see him as a long term replacement for Antonio Valencia. The 23-year-old has youth and energy on his side, with his pace in attack a vital attribute.
Crucially to Mourinho’s style of play, Fabinho is also a solid and reliable defender. His conversion to a midfielder was in part down to his superb ability to break up play, something that means that Mourinho can be comfortable trusting him on the right of defence.
Is a move likely?
It would be a strange move. Antonio Valencia may turn 32 in August, but he is currently enjoying some of the best form of his career and was one of the team’s most consistent performers last season. As such, it would seem strange if Mourinho does want to replace him this summer.
Fabinho would not come cheaply either. Mourinho is likely to want to add to his squad in midfield, up front and in the heart and left of defence this summer, so a needless addition at right back may be low down on the list of priorities.