The Guardian‘s Jamie Jackson reported earlier this week that the two clubs had agreed a £40m fee for the Serb ahead of a move to Old Trafford.
It was initially thought that the imminent arrival of Bakayoko, a key asset for AS Monaco last season, would pave the way for Matic to leave Stamford Bridge and reunite with Jose Mourinho.
However, according to the Mail Online‘s Simon Jones, Conte is holding out for a second new midfield recruit before letting Matic depart for Manchester.
The fact that Chelsea – and Roman Abramovich in particular – would consider doing business with Mourinho and Man United, a Premier League rival, is in itself surprising, and it is no wonder that the champions are playing hardball over emboldening the Portuguese’s midfield with one of their most important assets – somebody the 54-year-old knows incredibly well.
Then again, with the commitment of Champions League football now something to contend with, you can see why the Italian is keen on acquiring a solid base in midfield from which to maintain their momentum from last year.