Chelsea manager Antonio Conte approved the sale of new Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic because he thought he was ‘not mobile enough’ and ‘ponderous in possession’, according to reports.
The Daily Telegraph’s Chief Football Correspondent Jason Burt claims that Matic was not sold without Conte’s say-so, despite later suggesting it was the board’s decision.
Matic made his debut for Manchester United in Sunday’s 4-0 win over West Ham and contributed to a thrilling performance in which he excelled.
Many have already cited the £40m sale of Matic as one of the mistakes of the summer, with Conte happy to let people think that it was not his mistake.
Spoke to a number of people today on Nemanja Matic and the fact is Conte didn't want him and Man Utd offered the cash. Column @TeleFootball
— Jason Burt (@JBurtTelegraph) August 14, 2017
Burt’s column – described as “bullsh*t” by Gary Neville – then claims that Conte had serious doubts about Matic’s motivation after winning two titles in three seasons and suggested that at 29, he may struggle with another intense season.
There were also suggestions that Conte believed Matic was not mobile enough, ponderous in possession and tactically inflexible.