Reports last month claimed that, with Tiemoue Bakayoko moving to Stamford Bridge, Matic would be given the green light to complete a £40m move to Man United.
But the entire dynamic between the two clubs has radically changed ever since Mourinho’s capture of Romelu Lukaku – Chelsea’s number one target.
Neville, however, has emphasised the importance of securing the Serb’s services this summer.
“United need another holding midfield player,” he said.
“Michael Carrick has got one more year but he can’t play every single week so they do need to have that player who can come in and do the same job – and Matic would be able to do that.
“Morgan Schneiderlin was let go earlier in the season and Bastian Schweinsteiger didn’t get a game, so you’re talking about there needing to be a replacement for them and ultimately Matic would fit the bill.
“I think they need to strengthen, so I’m not sure why they’re letting him go and they must have a replacement.”
United, as is always the case, have been linked with a litany of midfielders this summer: Fabinho, Mateo Kovacic, Blaise Matuidi, Radja Nainggolan, Eric Dier, Marco Verratti, Lucas Biglia, Voldemort, Captain Jack Sparrow, and you – yes, you.
This is always the case, of course, and choosing the most preferable option can often be difficult, but this time around nobody can doubt that Matic – in the interest of finding a Michael Carrick replacement and somebody to give Paul Pogba more room going forward – stands above the rest.
Physically imposing, compact, totally composed, disciplined, experienced at the top of the table, and just generally a safe pair of hands. It won’t be easy, especially with Conte still sulking over the whole Lukaku deal, but Matic should be Mourinho’s main target.