Have Benfica just put Manchester United target Nemanja Matic up for sale?

If Manchester United do want to sign Nemanja Matic this summer they have been handed an ultimatum by Benfica.

Nemanja Matic is a player whose journey from Chelsea's reserves to being on the brink of the Europa League Final with Benfica has been well documented.

Part-exchanged in the David Luiz deal, the Serbian midfielder has gone onto become a real lynchpin of the Portuguese league leaders' midfield.

He has been so impressive that Manchester United have been recently linked with a bid for him, along with Juventus.

Except there had been one problem, his release clause which stood at €45 million Euros, enough to put off even his keenest admirer.

Now reports in Portugal have claimed Benfica are lowering their asking price, in an attempt to play hardball, which could actually weaken their position.

Realising nobody is going to pay that fee, newspaper O Jogo reports that the club are willing to sell, but only for €30 million Euros, which equates to £25 million.

It is a real testing amount, because if United are desperate to sign him, it is in the sort of price range they would consider.

However if they are not serious about signing Matic then they will walk away.

It's fair enough of Benfica, who feel they should not sell for less than they feel they should, but it also says a lot about the release clause's not being worth the paper they are written on.

Clearly Benfica want to cash in on any interest from Europe's top sides, as the Portuguese top clubs make a habit of buying small and selling for a huge profit.

But it also tells us that the side have pretty much put him up for sale, which will be music to the ears of any potential bidders.

As it's only May, it makes little sense for United to jump straight in with a bid. Given that Benfica have lowered their asking price at this early stage, there is a chance they will do so again, even despite their protestations they won't sell for a penny less than 30 million Euros.

image: © Yoca91

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