José Mourinho has finally gotten his man. After being linked with a move for Nemanja Matić for several weeks, Manchester United have confirmed the signing of the midfielder from Chelsea. The fee to secure the capture of the 29 year-old is reported to be in the £40m range. The Serbian midfielder completed his medical on Sunday, and has signed a three-year contract with the option of a further year.
Forty million pounds is sizable sum for a player of his age who wanted out of his previous club, but let’s not forget that direct transfers between title rivals are a rare - and, as such, usually expensive - thing. Matić’s stock may have fallen in the last several months as he found himself occasionally on the bench for Chelsea, but he’s still been a key player in the team that won the league twice in the last three seasons.
Most importantly, he’s a player that the manager knows and trusts, and has been identified as a necessary addition to the team which Mourinho is attempting to build.
“Nemanja is a Manchester United player and a Jose Mourinho player. He represents everything we want in a footballer; loyalty, consistency, ambition, team player.
"I would like to thank him for his desire to join us because without that, it would be impossible to have him here. I am sure our players and supporters will love him. A big welcome to our new number 31."
All things considered, this signing should have been wrapped up some time ago. Matić adds some much needed steel in midfield and should theoretically free up Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera to get further forward. From the sounds of it, he was keen on reconnecting with his old boss:
“I am delighted to have joined Manchester United. To work with Jose Mourinho once again was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.
“I have enjoyed my time at Chelsea and would like to thank the club and the fans for their support. I cannot wait to meet my new team-mates and to start training with them.
“This is a very exciting time for the club and I am looking forward to playing my part in creating more history for this great club.”
Matić will wear the number 31 shirt most recently vacated by lovely German tourist and part-time footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger, and could be involved with the team as soon as Wednesday’s final pre-season match against Sampdoria.
How do you think our new signing will fit in the team? Excited? Underwhelmed? Still not over Fabinho? Let us know in the comments.