Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic reportedly wants talks with club boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer to discuss the reasons he is not featuring in the first team.
So far this season Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay have been employed as the first choice central midfield pairing, and the Serbian has been dropped down the pecking order.
That’s despite Pogba’s lack of defensive discipline - see the last goal conceded against Crystal Palace as evidence, and McTominay’s lack of experience.
Matic would offer some defensive stability alongside Pogba but can’t offer the running that the young Scottish international can. There would be a potential compromise in using a three man midfield, and taking Jesse Lingard out of the side as a number 10.
That would have the advantage of added steel in midfield, as well as the advantage of not having Lingard anywhere near the team. Pogba could then be pushed up as a number 10 or number 8 while not reducing the pace of the forward line.
The 31-year-old Serbian had struggled for form in the last season under Jose Mourinho and United were expected to add to their midfield in the summer. Instead they let Marouane Fellaini leave earlier to go to the Chinese Super League, and Ander Herrera departed on a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
That lack of numbers means that even if Matic is told he is not first choice, there is little chance of him leaving before the end of the summer transfer. There may be yet more competition for Matic if Fred returns to fitness after an extended summer break.