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How Nemanja Matic may leave Manchester United for Roma

by Shane Healy

Within a month of being sacked by Tottenham Hotspur, former Manchester United boss, José Mourinho landed the head coach position at AS Roma.

It is now believed, according to two Italian news outlets, Tutto Mercato Web and Corriere dello Sport, that Mourinho wants to sign United’s Nemanja Matic.

Mourinho signed Matic in 2017 while managing United. 

The Serbian defensive midfielder is now 32 and has only made 20 Premier League appearances this season, many of which as a substitute. 

The player himself is reported to be open to a move, although having signed a new contract last year, United will expect to receive a fee. That fee is said to be in the region of £8.5 million.

Roma, however, are not keen on Matic’s wages of around £6 million per year, and so, may look to negotiate that figure down.

After the build-up before last night’s game, eyes were on Paul Pogba to shine, in a midfield two, during United’s Europa League Final defeat to Villareal. Instead, the want-away French-man put in another mediocre performance.

Pogba’s inconsistency and off-field comments, together with Matic struggling to keep up with the pace of the Premier League means United only have two solid performers in deeper midfield, Scott McTominay and Fred, who themselves have limitations.

And this transfer link further highlights United and manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s desire to strengthen the team in midfield. 

United have been linked to the likes of Declan Rice and Eduardo Camavinga, while fans have mentioned the Italian deep-lying playmaker, Manuel Locatelli in recent months.

If Matic’s transfer to Roma were to be closed, it has been suggested that the Italian club could look to acquire him initially on a loan with an option to buy, similar to how Chris Smalling secured his move last year to the Giallorossi.

To reunite with Mourinho permanently though, Matic may have to consider lowering his wage requests.

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