Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has told Florentino Perez he needs a defensive midfielder, an alternative to Brazil's Casemiro. Paul Pogba has been a target but he is increasingly close to signing for Manchester United. So Zidane is now aiming for Chelsea's Serbian star Nemanja Matic.
Madrid operatives have been working for weeks on this operation, although it all depended on what happened with Pogba. Madrid will not throw in the towel on that until he is announced as a Manchester United player. Madrid have made contact with Chelsea over Matic and a deal could cost around 40-45 million euros.
The Blues battler has three more years at Stamford Bridge but has grown tired of the Premier League and is willing to leave this summer for the right offer. Matic, when asked about his future, said: "We will see. I have a contract with Chelsea for three more years but in football everything is possible."