Juventus seeking to sign Nemanja Matic on a free; the one-year clause in his contract could see some return for his departure


Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic is now wanted by Juventus according to reports. The reigning Serie A champions will be seeking to sign the player as a free agent in the summer, aiming to get the 31-year-old to sign a pre-contract agreement as early as January as they did with former Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

Matic was benched by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the first four matches of the season, missing the victory over Chelsea, the draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers, the defeat to Crystal Palace and making a 22minute cameo in the 1-1 draw with Southampton. On Saturday though, Matic started in the 1-0 victory over Leicester City.

During the international break, the Serbian midfielder admitted that he did not agree with Solskjaer’s decision, giving the impression that he was not happy with life at United. At the end of the day, he needs to offer what the team and the manager demands, otherwise, he is not going to fit the picture at all. Matic did well against Leicester but it is clear he doesn’t fit.

During the summer, it was reported that both AC Milan and Inter Milan were interested in signing Matic, but they were unable to sign the 31-year-old due to United not allowing him to leave. The midfield has been left at barebones since both Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera left this year, with no replacements incoming.

Matic’s current contract expires at the end of the season, but when Jose Mourinho signed the former Chelsea midfielder, a clause offering an extra year was inserted in the players contract, which can be activated at any time. If United do this, it could be that they have plans to sell him in January or in the next summer transfer window.

This would be good business rather than letting a £40 million signing leave the club after just three years. Granted, United would struggle to get anything close to £40 million for the player but a return, no matter how little would be better than letting Juventus sign him as a free agent, something they seem to do quite regularly.

I really cannot see Matic having to play many matches for United this season. He was literally only a starting player against Leicester on Saturday because Paul Pogba was injured and Fred was probably not ready to start, based on the fact he has not played since pre-season. With some game time, Fred will probably be ahead of Matic, in Solskjaer’s eyes.

The rise of Scott McTominay will have been a bitter pill for Matic, but after praising the young midfielder the season before last, he could have seen this day coming. McTominay offers everything that Matic cannot, especially pace and energy, which is reason for Matic, more often than not, being benched by Solskjaer.

If James Garner earns himself an opportunity to play for the first team this season, which his early form suggests he could do, then Matic will be pegged even further back in the squad, which will be good to see, not for him though. Matic is a professional and will understand that United need to cater for the wider picture, not just for him.

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