Nemanja Matic has announced he will be leaving Manchester United this summer despite his contract still having one year left to run.
It is set to be a summer of change at Old Trafford, where Erik ten Hag is expected to succeed Ralf Rangnick as manager. Although there are doubts about the club’s transfer budget, they could make several tweaks to their squad.
They will likely have to offload players before they can focus on signings. Some, such as Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Jesse Lingard, are likely to leave as free agents in June.
But Matic is one of those who is tied to a slightly longer deal with the club, until 2023.
Nevertheless, the midfielder has now revealed he has told the club that he wants to leave in the summer.
He announced via Instagram: “After a great deal of thought, I have decided that this season will be my last with Manchester United.
“I have informed the board, the manager and the players of my decision.
“It has been a huge honour and a privilege to play for this great club. A big thank you to the fans for their unwavering support.
“I will now give everything until the end of the season to help my teammates finish as strongly as possible.”
Matic destination not yet known
Matic has been a Manchester United player since 2017, when he joined the club from Premier League rivals Chelsea. Since then, he has made more appearances for the Red Devils than any of his previous clubs.
Donning the Man Utd jersey on 183 occasions, the Serbia international will end his Man Utd career without a trophy. In contrast, he won two Premier League titles in his Chelsea days.
At the age of 33 – with a birthday approaching in August – it remains to be seen where Matic will move, or if he will retire altogether. Likewise, the terms of a potential United exit will have to come to light in time.
Although he has only made 11 starts in the Premier League this season, his current employers will have to react in the transfer market. There is an argument to describe Matic as their only natural defensive midfielder in the current squad.
It is a position that could do with strengthening and Matic’s decision will only heighten that focus.