AC Milan saw a summer bid for Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic rejected, according to reports from England.
Matic has never hit the heights expected of him at Old Trafford since making the £40million (roughly €45m) move from rivals Chelsea in 2017, and last season his performances came under intense scrutiny.
It was reported early in August by ESPN that Matic has expressed his desire to discuss his future with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and that he could even consider leaving United.
Despite this, a recent exclusive interview with Lee Sharpe reveals that he believes Solskjaer has filled the players with confidence, which seems quite the opposite to Matic’s situation.
Matic’s dilemma apparently caught the interest of Milan and rivals Inter, who were both linked with a number of midfielders during the mercato.
Now, journalist Duncan Castles has told the Mirror that both Milan clubs made bids for Matic, but that he was essentially forced to stay put by the Red Devils.
“It’s not that he wanted to leave Manchester United, but his calculation was: ‘If Solskjaer doesn’t want to play me, I don’t want to be a bench player at Manchester United’,” Castles said, as per The Sun.
“‘If these two important clubs in Italy are interested in signing me and giving me a long-term contract at age 31, then the rational decision for me would be to pursue that option and go and play football in Italy, ‘cos I’d rather be playing football in Italy on a long-term contract than be on the bench for a manager who would prefer to have someone else in the first team in England.’
“United didn’t take up those offers because they felt that financially they weren’t high enough for them to sell Matic.
“So he was forced to remain at the club. He didn’t push for a transfer in the sense of going public and going down the various steps you can go down when you want to move elsewhere.
“And now he sees himself stuck on the bench with a team that has won just one of four games this season under Solskjaer’s direction and is on a run of just three wins in 16 in all competitive matches.”