Manchester United are reportedly willing to let Nemanja Matic leave in January if it is possible to line up a replacement, The Telegraph report.
Various names have been linked, with ESPN touting Lille destroyer Bakhary Soumare as a young defensive midfielder to take the team forward.
An even bolder move would be for United to go all in on Brescia wonderkid Sandro Tonali.
Tonali and Matic could not be more different. And a move would represent a major shift in philosophy.
United would not just be getting younger, but the team would be trying to become more skilful, creative, and attack minded.
The Sun reported at the end of last month that United have been scouting Tonali with a view to a £40 million move. He could end up costing a lot more, with Brescia’s chairman claiming he might be worth £250 million.
That’s up to Brescia, but £40 million is more than reasonable for a 19-year-old, even if he is already a full Italy international.
Changing the game
Even when he is fit, Nemanja Matic is not offering much to United. It’s time to move the Serbian on for a younger more dynamic player.
Tonali is the total opposite. He has been compared to Andrea Pirlo in style as well as appearance.
He is averaging more than two chances created per game in Serie A this season (2.1). The only Manchester United player to better him is Paul Pogba (2.6).
Nemanja Matic has not created a single chance in his Premier League appearances this season, while Scott McTominay (0.8) and Fred (0.9) offer little themselves in this regard.
McTominay and Fred have been effective for United, but the attacking side of their game lacks refinement. At just 19-years-old, Tonali is showing real promise, and genuine quality.
If United choose a like for like replacement for Matic like Soumare, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that. He is younger, more efficient, and has potential to improve while Matic is on the decline.
Tonali on the other hand would be a stylistic statement from United, that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to embrace a more attacking style of football and create more chances from deep.
He’d be a proper alternative, and would make United more dangerous.
Agreeing a price will be difficult mid-season with notorious Brescia chairman Massimo Cellino, but United should be put off. Tonali is a big talent who has unique qualities which other options are unable to bring to the table.
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