Manchester United have announced the signing of 28-year-old midfielder Nemanja Matić from Chelsea in a deal thought to be worth £40million.
The Serbian had been linked to the Premier League club for some time as they targeted a defensive midfielder. He’s signed a three-year-deal at Old Trafford, lasting until 2020.
Matić signs 3-year-deal at Man Utd
A deal was agreed between the two English sides on Saturday, before the player completed a medical in Manchester on Sunday.
José Mourinho had recently publicly told reporters of his desire for two more transfers to take his summer movements up to four. Matić is the third, following the early purchase of young Swedish centre-back Victor Lindelöf from Benfica and the surprise move for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, a player Chelsea coveted for months.
Deal is 3rd signing of summer for Reds
Matić is reunited with former manager José Mourinho, who guided the Serb to his first trophies in England while the pair were at Chelsea, during Mourinho’s second spell at the club.
Mourinho and Matić are two of many former-Chelsea figures now at United, the other two players being Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku.
"Nemanja is a Manchester United player and a Jose Mourinho player," said the United boss himself. "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."
Nemanja Matic said: "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."
Midfielder to allow Pogba to flourish
The hope will be that Matić will act as a solid midfielder who allows Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera to flourish in more attacking roles. Under Mourinho at Chelsea, he executed that with excellence, notably in big games.
United now focus on their fourth, and perhaps final, signing of the summer. A long-term target has been Inter Milan’s Croatian forward Ivan Perišić. The clubs have been fretting over £5m for some weeks, though United are now reported by a number of outlets to have gone closer to securing Perišić.
The club initially hoped for a cheap, below-valuation deal as Inter required sales to avoid failing Financial Fair Play regulations. However, due to smart selling of a number players, Inter avoided that fate and have now forced United into paying the full valuation for one of their best and most important players.