Antonio Conte replies to question about Chelsea selling key man to Man United

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte appears to suggest the decision to sell Nemanja Matic to Manchester United wasn't made by the Italian

David De Gea with new Manchester United signing Nemanja Matic Photo: David De Gea / Instagram

Antonio Conte has appeared to suggest that the decision to sell Nemanja Matic to Manchester United was made the Chelsea board and not the manager.

The Serbia international completed a £40m move to the Red Devils from the Premier League champions last week to improve Jose Mourinho’s midfield options.

The 29-year-old was brought back to Stamford Bridge from Portuguese champions Benfica in 2014 before Matic helped Chelsea to win the Premier League and the EFL Cup in 2014-15.

Matic’s performances suffered an alarming dip like most of his Chelsea team-mates in the following season which culminated in Mourinho’s dismissal midway through the season.

The defensive midfielder was a key member of Conte’s team that won back the Premier League crown in their first season under the Italian coach last term.

Matic scored one goal and made seven assists in 35 appearances last term despite increased competition from Cesc Fabregas and N’Golo Kante.

Conte signed Tiemoue Bakayoko in a £40m transfer from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco earlier this summer to provide more competition for places in midfield.

Speaking at his pre-match media conference ahead of Chelsea’s clash against Arsenal in the Community Shield on Sunday afternoon, Conte hinted that the decision to sell Matic wasn’t his:

“You have to ask the club about this.”

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