Man United Opinion: Red Devils should drop their interest in Blaise Matuidi
According to Calciomercato in English, Man United are in the market for Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi, with reports claiming that the Bianconeri might allow the 32-year-old Frenchman to depart Turin this summer.
Matuidi,32, has only a year left to run on the three-year deal that he had signed while joining Juventus from Paris Saint-German back in the summer of 2017.
Given that Juventus have already strengthened their midfield with the arrival of Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey this summer, new manager Maurizio Sarri has apparently deemed the World Cup winner surplus to requirements at the club. (h/t Calciomercato)
The same report claims that Matuidi’s agent Mino Raiola is also trying to negotiate a deal with the Frenchman’s former club PSG in order to ensure that his client finishes his career with one last big paycheque.
Matuidi played a key role for Juventus last season, as Max Allegri’s side won the Serie A title and made it to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. The 32-year-old contributed with 3 goals and 3 assists in 42 appearances for the Bianconeri in the previous campaign but it seems that he has played his last game for the Italian heavyweights.
The central midfielder, who was one of the key driving forces behind France’s triumphant 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign in Russia last summer, is still regarded as one of the best in his position in Europe.
Matuidi enjoyed a trophy-laden spell with PSG in his homeland and won as many as 16 trophies over the course of six seasons, amassing an impressive tally of 33 goals and 30 assists in 295 appearances in all competitions before moving to Juventus.
Matuidi’s stint at Juventus has proven to be an equally fruitful one, with the Frenchman playing a pivotal role in the Bianconer’s back-to-back Serie A triumphs under Max Allegri. The 32-year-old has scored 7 and created a further 6 in 88 appearances for Juventus in all competitions till date.
To put things into perspective, Blaise Matiuidi is very much a household name in European football and his tally of 606 senior competitive appearances for the likes of Troyes, Saint-Etienne, PSG and Juventus speaks volumes of his consistency and high fitness levels.
He reminded the fans in the World Cup last summer that age is merely a number and it would be fair to say that he still has a lot to offer at the highest level.
However, he wouldn’t be the best possible signing for Man United, given that such a move would go against the transfer policy that the Red Devils have adopted under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Norwegian has made his intentions very clear with the signings of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka that he is looking for a youthful overhaul of his squad and 32-year-old Matuidi would be a glaring misfit in that regard.
A highly energetic box-to-box midfielder with wonderful tackling and ball-winning attributes, Matuidi is nearing the end of his prime years as a footballer and, although he has done exceptionally well in recent times, the Frenchman is at a stage in his career where his powers are going to start waning very soon.
Hence, the fans at Old Trafford aren’t likely to see the best of him for too long even if United go ahead with a deal for the 32-year-old.
A new centre-back continues to be a priority for the club but the Red Devils are also in dire need of bringing in reinforcements in central midfield to cover for the departure of experienced heads like Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera, whilst Paul Pogba’s future continues to be up in the air.
It is a no-brainer that Matuidi would be an excellent replacement but his advancing years should prompt United against making a move for him this summer.
United have adopted the right kind of approach in the transfer window this summer in the sense that the Red Devils are finally looking to plan for the long term, with Solskjaer now at the helm of affairs.
That stance calls for the recruitment of young and promising players or even proven ones who are in their prime years, and certainly not ageing stars who are nearing the twilight of their career.
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Keeping that in mind, the Red Devils should drop their interest in the World Cup winner and look at younger alternatives in the market.