Imagine if Jim White had his own transfer rumour blog. That’s essentially Gianluca Di Marzio. In fairness, the Sky Italia journalist’s information is usually pretty accurate and his latest claim comes with photographic evidence – someone taking a cheeky picture of Nemanja Matic in what appears to be the changing rooms of a Milan fashion shop. Inevitably, that’s sparked rumours of the Serbian international holding talks with an Italian club regarding a potential transfer.
On its own, a footballer hanging out with his agent in a foreign country isn’t exactly a story. Plenty of footballers have personal relationships with their agents and of course, Milan is a fashion city. It’s hardly a surprise to see a Premier League star doing his clothes shopping there.
But speculation doesn’t happen in a vacuum and Matic was linked with a move to Serie A during the summer transfer window, after a torrid 2015/16 campaign that saw him dropped from the starting XI for extended periods and even hauled off by Jose Mourinho just a matter of minutes after being brought on as a substitute.
In fact, it took Antonio Conte to declare in late July that the 28-year-old wasn’t for sale and that he could become one of the best midfielders in the world at Chelsea to stop speculation of a summer departure.
The obvious suggestion would be Juventus, who reportedly made at least one approach to sign Matic during the last transfer window. They’re still yet to replace Paul Pogba’s power in central midfield and the 6 foot 4 Chelsea star would certainly address that problem, although it’s hardly proved a fundamental issue with the Old Lady already four points clear at the top of Serie A.
AC Milan, meanwhile, were taken over by a Chinese consortium in August but didn’t have time for a last-minute summer shopping spree, so they could be lining up Matic as the first blockbuster signing of a new era at the San Siro. Likewise, city rivals Inter have been splashing a fair bit of cash recently, shelling out £110million during the summer, and may be ready to spend again in January after a slow start to the season – claiming just three wins from their first seven games.