Phil Neville: Manchester United's title bid strengthened by signing of Nemanja Matic

Mourinho said: 'I understand the reality of the market, of the numbers and that my club, by doing 75 per cent of what I initially asked, did very well. If Nathaniel Chalobah or Ruben Loftus-Cheek were still there they could get rid of Matic and play a younger kid. They have weakened their own team and strengthened Manchester United, who now have a better chance of winning the Premier League than Chelsea.

However, the English champions are looking short on options in midfield following Matic's controversial move to Manchester United.

"You get the feeling that Chelsea didn't really want Matic to go, but players can push for a move at times and that is why this deal feels different compared to Petr Cech's move from Chelsea to Arsenal a couple of years back".

"Chelsea are weaker than last season - no Diego Costa, no Matic - and I'm concerned for them". Is Tiemoue Bakayoko, a £35million signing, a similar type of player to Matic?

Jose Mourinho was in charge for the latter campaign and, despite securing Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield glory, along with Champions League qualification, knows they have to do better in the league.

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"It's the start of the Premier League and it's very important for us". He will take time to settle.

"I heard whispers at the back end of last season that he wanted to go and even if the club can not come out and say too much about that, maybe there was an element of that in play here when this deal went through".

Neville also believes the sale will improve the players already at United, with Matic's new midfield colleagues set to benefit.

Matic was speaking after making his competitive United debut, playing the entirety of Tuesday's 2-1 UEFA Super Cup loss to Real Madrid despite having had only 45 pre-season minutes in red under his belt.

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