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Nemanja Matic: Manchester United complete signing of Chelsea midfielder

Monday - 31/07/2017 16:02
Manchester United have completed the signing of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for £40m on a three-year deal.
Nemanja Matic was left out of Chelsea's pre-season tour of the Far East by manager Antonio Conte
Nemanja Matic was left out of Chelsea's pre-season tour of the Far East by manager Antonio Conte

The midfielder, 28, becomes United's third summer buy after £31m defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica and £75m striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton.

United manager Jose Mourinho described Matic as a "team player" who has "everything we want in a footballer; loyalty, consistency, ambition".

Matic said he was "delighted" to be joining at "an exciting time".

The Serbia midfielder added: "To work with Jose Mourinho once again was an opportunity I couldn't turn down.

"I have enjoyed my time at Chelsea and would like to thank the club and the fans for their support. I cannot wait to meet my new team-mates and to start training with them."

Former Chelsea manager Mourinho spent £21m to sign Matic from Benfica for a second spell at Stamford Bridge in January 2014.

He had been valued at less than £5m when he left as a makeweight in a deal for defender David Luiz in January 2011, two years after he first joined the Blues in a £1.5m move from Slovakian club MFK Kosice.

Matic scored once in 35 Premier League appearances during Chelsea's title-winning 2016-17 season, also striking spectacularly in their FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham in April.

His exit had been expected after the Blues signed France international Tiemoue Bakayoko, 22, from French champions Monaco in a reported £40m deal earlier in July.

Italian champions Juventus were also understood to be keen on Matic.

A new challenge needed?

In 2015, Matic was named in the PFA's Premier League team of the year, along with five other players from Chelsea's title-winning team.

According to Opta, he averaged nearly four tackles, made more than two interceptions and won eight duels - a 50-50 contest - per 90 minutes over the 2014-15 campaign.

However, last season Matic won only 278 duels, at an average of 4.77.

Last season, while Chelsea team-mate N'Golo Kante made an average of 3.64 tackles per 90 minutes - the fourth highest in the Premier League behind Liverpool's Jordan Henderson, Leicester's Wilfred Ndidi and Idrissa Gueye of Everton - Matic managed only 1.7.

The deal for Matic brings United's summer spending to £146m.

Almost £900m has been spent by Premier League sides so far in the summer transfer window, which closes on 31 August, and accountancy firm Deloitte predicts top-flight clubs will surpass the record £1.165bn they spent last summer.

Manchester City took their spending beyond the £200m mark by signing Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy on Monday, while Chelsea have also spent more than £100m.

Source: BBC News::

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