A picture of Matic wearing Man United’s training kit, sporting the number 31, begun to circulate social media on Sunday afternoon.
And it was soon reported that the Serb had completed his medical at Man United after the two clubs settled on a £40m fee, with an official announcement set to come on Monday.
Mourinho noted soon after United’s 3-0 win over Valerenga in Oslo that he was awaiting news of the deal’s completion.
“I’m waiting for news,” he said. “I know that he wants that very, very much and when a player wants very, very much the chance is bigger, the chance is bigger, so I think we have a chance but in football until it’s official, I saw so many things happen that I refuse to say more than I am telling you now.”
“I don’t know because I was not there. Number 31 is a free number. It was Schweinsteiger. It’s a free jersey, we have a few free and 31 is one of them.”
The Portuguese opted for Romelu Lukaku because he wanted somebody with a guaranteed Premier League track record, and his capture of Matic is grounded in the same reason.
Mourinho has not just signed a much needed defensive midfielder to free up Paul Pogba and shield United’s defence; he has signed a man with two Premier League trophies since arriving in 2014 – one of which being under his tutelage.
The two know exactly what to expect from each other. And Matic, as a man used to life at the top, would not have left the Premier League champions if he didn’t think Mourinho was once again capable of replicating the same feats at Old Trafford next season.