José Mourinho is intent on signing Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic for around £40m, with Manchester United hopeful of completing the transfer this week.
The 28-year-old is understood to have agreed personal terms with United and the two clubs have agreed his price.
Matic, who will earn around £155,000 a week, is expected to take a medical in the coming days, though the death of Mourinho’s father, Félix, on Sunday may slow the deal. The manager is in Portugal for the funeral but the midfielder is expected to become a United player before the club travel to the United States for a pre-season tour on 9 July.
When in charge at Chelsea Mourinho signed the Serb for £21m in January 2014. The Portuguese wants Matic as the replacement for Michael Carrick, who has signed a new one-year contract but will be 36 in July.
Matic’s departure means Antonio Conte should be able to retain Cesc Fàbregas and the Chelsea manager is keen on adding Monaco’s Tiemoué Bakayoko to his midfield.
Mourinho wants to sign at least four frontline players this summer. Matic would take the tally to two, after the Swedish central defender Victor Lindelof joined from Benfica for £30m.
Mourinho is still targeting Real Madrid’s Álvaro Morata, though the Spanish club’s wish to sign David de Gea means his pursuit of the centre-forward may drag on. United have no intention of allowing their first-choice goalkeeper to be sold to Real.