Turkish outlet A Spor claim that Super Lig side Galatasaray have agreed a five year deal with Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini, even going so far as to say that the Belgian has signed for the club and is simply awaiting official confirmation of the signing publicly.
It was not, therefore, a surprise to see reports emerge suggesting that Manchester United are close to sealing the £40 million signing of Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic. A natural replacement, and a clear step up in quality, Matic could join as soon as this week to reunite with former boss Jose Mourinho.
Talks over a deal for Matic have been ongoing throughout the summer with little progress, but a fee of £40 million for a player who will turn 29 years of age on Tuesday, with only one year left on his contract, has clearly been enough to persuade him. As such, the Daily Mail‘s latest reports suggest he will become a Manchester United player during the coming week.
It seems highly unlikely that United would allow Fellaini to leave without a replacement lined up. The Red Devils are looking low in numbers in the position and would surely not want to be reliant upon 36-year-old Michael Carrick to play week in week out alongside Ander Herrera. That would suggest that they are confident of tying up a deal for a midfielder in the coming days.
It seems probable that Matic is that man who is close to putting pen to paper. Having worked under Mourinho before, the Portuguese boss will know exactly what he is getting by signing the Serbian. Matic is keen to stay in the Premier League and knows that the financial offer from Old Trafford is unlikely to be beaten elsewhere.
If true, Matic would be a clear upgrade on Marouane Fellaini. Far more reliable and consistent, Matic’s all round game is far more complete than Fellaini’s and he also offers a less explosive option. Whilst Fellaini can produce some woeful displays and be a liability with his discipline, this is an area where Matic has rarely struggled.
Fellaini’s time at Old Trafford coming to an end and Matic’s arrival signal a clear shift for United. The post-Sir Alex Ferguson period of mediocrity is over, Jose Mourinho is putting his stamp on this team and he is not afraid to spend to do so.