Chelsea almost missed out on the chance to land Nemanja Matic in January, as Paris Saint-Germain came within a whisker of beating them to the punch.
Today’s edition of the Daily Express reveals that the Ligue 1 champions were mulling over the idea of buying Matic in January, but hesitated as manager Laurent Blanc is a keen admirer of Yohan Cabaye.
The French manager was said to be in two minds over which player to buy, having worked with Cabaye for the national side, before eventually opting for the then-Newcastle man.
That left Chelsea open to move in for the kill, with Matic ultimately completing a switch to Stamford Bridge for a figure of around £21 million. The Serbian international has since become a revelation in west London, cementing his place in Jose Mourinho’s first team with a string of strong performances in front of his back four.
Of course Cabaye hasn’t had nearly as much success since departing Tyneside, with the central midfielder having struggled to earn his place in Blanc’s starting XI. Rumours have even inferred that he might already be looking to leave the Parc des Princes, having only made three domestic appearances since the beginning of the season.
The 28-year-old has been forced to sit on the sidelines as his teammates have failed to replicate the form which has seen them lift the Ligue 1 title for the past two seasons. It’s currently Marseille who sit at the summit of French football almost 10 games into the campaign, with PSG sitting in second place, seven points adrift of the top.
Once again that’s in stark contrast to Matic, who is now recognised as one of the most pivotal cogs in Mourinho’s thus-far all-conquering Chelsea machine. The Blues have risen effortlessly to first-place in the Premier League and heading into this weekend’s crunch clash with Manchester United they are unbeaten.
Much of that is down to Matic, who has been colossal in the centre of midfield for the club who once let him leave as part of the deal to bring David Luiz in. How PSG chiefs must wish they’d gone with their gut instinct now.