As Paul Pogba looks closer to sealing a return to Manchester United, Juventus have identified Chelsea holding midfielder Nemanja Matic as an ideal replacement.

Nemanja Matic
Nemanja Matic

The 27-year-old Serbian international, who is in his second stint with the Blues after re-joining from Benfica in 2014, suffered a huge dip in form last season after initially impressing at Stamford Bridge with his powerful all-round game.

Despite fears that he could be sold following such a lacklustre season, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte recently insisted that Matic was a key part of his plans and is not on the market.

“Matic is a very important player for me, he is very important in my idea of football,” he said. “He is not for sale.”

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Reports suggest that Matic is open to a move to Juventus however, after fearing for his place in the starting line-up following the arrival of N’Golo Kante, and he may push for a move to the Serie A champions.

If Chelsea stick to their stance, then the Bianconeri may turn to Zenit St. Petersburg’s Axel Witsel, who is weighing up an offer from Everton, Newcastle United’s Moussa Sissoko, Paris Saint-Germain’s Blaise Matuidi or Inter’s Marcelo Brozovic.

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