By Dave Marshall
Former Chelsea defender, Mario Melchiot has claimed that Antonio Conte is making a huge mistake by selling out-of-favour midfielder, Nemanja Matic. The 28-year-old Serbian has been reported in the media to be close to a move to Old Trafford as Chelsea close in on Monaco destroyer, Tiemoue Bakayoko.
Jose Mourinho wants to reunite with the former Benfica man, a notion Melchiot isn’t too pleased with. Melchiot, who played for the Stamford Bridge outfit in the early 2000s believes that the move, despite its huge monetary ramifications, won’t do well for the ambitions of Chelsea to do well next season.
Matic was instrumental for the Blues last season, forming an effective partnership with N’Golo Kante as Chelsea romped to the title, but Conte is keen to add more mobility to his midfield, and feels Bakayoko is the man. Melchiot is concerned that Chelsea may be willing to strengthen a direct rival.
Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “He was very crucial in some games Chelsea played last season and I think he did extremely well, even if he wasn’t starting every game, There was a good balance in the midfield, sometimes with him or Fabregas next to Kante.
“You don’t want to make your rivals stronger, especially in the midfield where Jose Mourinho is always focused on having a strong midfield.” he added.
Matic re-joined Chelsea back in 2014, after being sold initially as part of the David Luiz deal from Benfica in 2011, and has been a rock in two title winning seasons, making 154 appearances for the 2012 Champions League winners in that time.