Not even 48 hours after reports emerged that Juventus is considering Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic as a replacement for Paul Pogba, that notion has been utterly squashed.
So much for another native of the Balkans joining up with the likes of Mario Mandzukic and Marko Pjaca, I guess.
According to Gianluca Di Marzio of Sky Sport Italia, Juventus’ “already pessimistic about a positive outcome” kind of feeling about acquiring Matic has taken one massive punch to the gut. Those meetings between Matic’s camp and Chelsea that didn’t go down on Tuesday? Well, they have reportedly happened on Thursday, with first-year manager Antonio Conte — yeah, we all know who he is — convincing the 27-year-old Serbian to stay right where he is for the upcoming season.
The player and his entourage who had recently opened to a move to Turin have understood the club and Conte's intentions convincing him to stay. This is the best solution according to the Serbian, with Juve who will have to follow different players now.
Ah, well, crap.
There are a little over two weeks to go before the summer transfer window crashes shut. Juventus, as it stands right now, could certainly do with another midfielder being added to its squad. Whether that happens before the season opener against Fiorentina next weekend is still a mystery to many. The way it’s going right now, that’s probably unlikely because within the last day two of Juventus’ reported targets, Matic and Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel, have both been ruled out by one way or another.
So, with Witsel declaring himself out by virtue of staying in Russia and Match reportedly staying at Chelsea, the search for a potential Pigba replacement goes on. And with it, the days to find said potential replacement get fewer and fewer. Good times, good times, good times.