Euro rivals join Chelsea and Man United’s hunt for 6 foot 3 midfield beast

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Massimo Allegri

According to reports from Calcio Mercato, Serie A champions Juventus have joined Chelsea and Manchester United in the race to sign Red Star Belgrade prodigy Marko Grujic. 

Due to his lofty 6 foot 3 frame, similar playing style and shared nationality with the Blues star, the 19-year-old midfielder has been dubbed the ‘new Nemanja Matic’ by the Italian and English press.

He first drew attention as Serbia lifted the U20 World Cup in New Zealand during the summer and has since been scouted by Manchester United, who watched the 19-year-old net past FK Rad Beograd in last month’s Belgrade derby.

Reports of Red Devils interest have waned since, but Grujic has already confirmed he’s being courted by Premier League rivals Chelsea, telling reporters earlier this month; “Nemanja Matic is a friend, he’s Serbian and he has been at Chelsea for over a year. He tells me that they want me.” Some sources claim the Blues have already tabled a €4million bid – although that is yet to be substantiated by either club or the English media.

But according to Calcio Mercato, the Premier League duo now face a new competitor in the race to sign the Serbian prospect in the form of fellow Champions League outfit Juventus. Having endured the same injury problems that severely impacted his Real Madrid career, Germany enforcer Sami Khedira has managed just seven appearances since moving to Turin on a free contract during the summer and the beastly Grujic would be an effective stand-in. 

They’re reportedly considering a January swoop, but reports from earlier this week revealed that Red Star won’t sell the teenage midfielder until the end of the season.

Sporting director Zvedzan Terzic is quoted as saying; “Grujic is one of our best players. He can’t leave the club before August, or in any case not before the end of the season. If we can’t guarantee support from the sponsors of the club, then there’s the possibility of signing a pre-contract with a club, but he’ll stay with us until the end of August, until the end of the European preliminaries. Grujic’s family has always behaved well with us, in fact, four months ago we renewed until 2018, showing great understanding with the club.”

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