Nemanja Matić is edging closer to a Manchester United exit, according to recent reports. The Serbian midfielder could potentially be on his way out of Old Trafford as early as January. Matić started this season on the bench, having fallen behind Scott McTominay and now Fred in the midfield pecking order. Matić was strongly linked with a move to Serie A this past summer, but with United’s midfield options already threadbare, the club did not sanction a sale.
Matić has been out of action with injury — if you believe that he hasn’t just been banished for being a sulk, anyway — for over six weeks now, and it’s telling that his absence has barely registered. United’s midfield corps may be severely underwhelming, but more fans have been clamoring for the promotion of teenager James Garner than have been anticipating Matić’s return. With Fred perhaps recently turning a corner in his United career, and Paul Pogba nearing a return from his own injury, Matić may find himself relegated to a fringe squad player when he eventually recovers.
Two previous midfield departures in the last 12 months — Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera — have yet to be replaced, though, and the club are rightfully wary of allowing another senior midfielder go without bringing in another body. If Matić does exit United in the upcoming transfer window, it will be on the condition that the club can secure a replacement that fits Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s vision for the team.