Both top-flight giants are desperate to land the former Chelsea player.
Premier League champions Manchester United and bitter rivals Liverpool will go head to head for the coveted signature of £25 million-rated Benfica midfield player Nemanja Matic when the winter transfer window opens again for business in the new year, according to reports in the Sun.
The in-demand Serbia international has been the subject of huge interest in his services throughout most of this calendar year, with the likes of Uefa Europa League holders Chelsea, as well as both United and Liverpool, having all been heavily linked with Matic.
However, it had long been assumed that the Portuguese giants had no intention whatsoever of allowing their star man to quit the Stadium of Light, especially midway through the season.
That was, though, before Benfica’s disastrous Uefa Champions League group-stage performances which have left the club in very real danger of not progressing into next year’s lucrative knockout rounds, so much so that the Lisbon outfit are now said to be willing to offload Matic at the turn of the year in order to bring some much-needed revenue into the club’s coffers.
As a result, the Red Devils and the Merseysiders will now battle it out to land the 25-year-old, whose current contact in the Portuguese capital runs until June 2018, come January time.