Man United warned Chelsea could prevent 28-year-old completing summer move

Irish Times reporter Ken Early believes Chelsea could be petty and prevent Man United from signing Nemanja Matic this summer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho Photo: Uefa handout

Chelsea could refuse to sell Nemanja Matic to Manchester United if the Red Devils win the race to sign Romelu Lukaku, according to Ken Early.

Jose Mourinho is closing in on his second signing of the summer transfer window with the Belgium international expected to move to Old Trafford despite interest from his former club Chelsea.

Indeed, Lukaku was heavily tipped to return to the Premier League champions last month, while Manchester United were thought to be targeting Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.

However, Manchester United capitalised on stalled talks between Chelsea and Everton to hijack a deal and agree a £75m fee to add Lukaku to their attacking line-up.

The Red Devils were thought to be closing in on a deal to sign Serbia international Matic – too, as Chelsea looked to bolster their midfield with the signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko.

However, Irish Times reporter and Second Captains host Early believes Chelsea could deny Manchester United the chance to sign Matic out of spite should Lukaku end up at Old Trafford.

“If Chelsea felt last week that £40m for Matic worked and they could bring in someone they like, it would be irrational or petty to say a week later that they’re not doing it,” Early told the Second Captains podcast.

“It’s not irrational to punish a competitor who screws you over even if it affects yourself.”

Chelsea have endured a frustrating transfer window so far despite being the Premier League champions.

The west London side have only managed to sign Manchester City reserve goalkeeper Willy Caballero and defender Antonio Rudiger to date.

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