Nemanja Matic has noted that Manchester United are on a completely different level in terms of size than his former club Chelsea.
Antonio Conte initially attempted to block the Serbian’s move to Old Trafford after seeing Jose Mourinho sign Romelu Lukaku for £75m.
But Matic, for reasons that remain unclear, managed to force through a move to Man United, signing a three year contract earlier this month for £40m.
And the 29-year-old, reflecting on his first few weeks as a United player, has expressed his amazement at the sheer size of the club in comparison to Chelsea.
“When you say Manchester United, it is different,” he said. “Also Chelsea is a big club, Benfica are the biggest club in Portugal. But Manchester is Manchester.
“When I came here for the first day, I could feel that the people at the club help you every day if you need something and supporters are very important for this club.
“After every training session, they are waiting for us outside the training ground to take pictures, to give a signature so I think the club is one of the biggest in the world.
“Maybe you have two or three clubs similar to United, but Manchester is one of the biggest clubs in the world for sure.”
Many have pondered why Conte let Matic leave Chelsea. Was he happy there? Diego Costa’s recent interview has shed some interesting light on the icy nature of Conte’s dressing room, depicting the Italian as an emotionless, cold figure. Mourinho remarked that there was a “problem” revolving around Matic and his relationship with the club, which eventually paved the way for a move to Manchester.
But perhaps this particular angle is irrelevant. The clear unrest in the Chelsea dressing room was obviously a factor, but the fact of the matter is that, in moving to United, you ascend to an even greater level of international recognition, even when moving from the Premier League champions to a side that finished sixth last season.
Playing for Chelsea is one thing, but playing for United something else entirely.