Jose Mourinho is desperate to bolster his AS Roma squad and is not afraid to go and prise players from his old clubs with Manchester United set to be raided by the former Real Madrid and Chelsea coach
AS Roma have reportedly expressed their concerns to Jose Mourinho over whether or not to pursue Nemanja Matic from Manchester United.
The Serbia international has told the Red Devils that he will be leaving at the end of the season when his contract expires – despite the fact he has an an option to extend for another year. It means United’s gaping midfield just got wider with the impending exit of their only true defensive stalwart in that position.
Nevertheless, the 33-year-old has been used sparingly by the likes of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick – despite impressing when called upon. While United were already looking to sign a midfielder, Matic’s decision will only exasperate an already desperate situation with Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard also leaving for nothing.
But United’s loss could be Roma’s gain with the Italian side heavily linked with the veteran star. Mourinho has worked with Matic both at Old Trafford and at Stamford Bridge when in charge of Chelsea.
In both cases, Matic was a star player under The Special One where they won a number of trophies together – including the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Europa League. And a reunion could be on the cards as the Serbian’s career enters its final stages.
However, not everyone agrees at Roma and several high-rankers at the club have serious question marks over whether the United star would be the right fit at the Stadio Olimpico. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Matic’s age and fitness levels have caused concerns within the club.
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Considering that the player would demand around £4.2million a year, there are worries that it could be a waste of money – something that Roma cannot afford to do as they look to close the gap on themselves and a top-four finish next season.
While there is no doubting Matic’s professionalism, he will be 34 by the time the new season begins and Roma would rather have a younger player that can be developed rather than bring in someone who could retire at any moment.
That could lead to a collision course between the club and Mourinho, who has identified the want-away star as one of his top priorities going into the summer transfer window. The Portuguese coach is already prepared to make room for Matic by offloading Jordan Veretout.
The former Aston Villa ace had been a key player for the Giallorossi prior to Mourinho’s arrival but this season the Frenchman has largely been left out of the squad and a summer transfer away appears to be in the pipeline.