It’s certainly fair to say Manchester United’s end-of-season form is largely being accredited to exceptional midfield play. Immediately, you think of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.
However, the star duo wouldn’t be able to play with freedom if they didn’t have Nemanja Matic, their midfield enforcer, sitting in behind them. It wasn’t that long ago when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed the Serb was playing the best football of his career. It’s hard to disagree.
Well now it seems as though that form is set to be rewarded. According to the ever-reliable Gianluca di Marzio, the key United star has signed a new contract at Old Trafford – despite having several offers on the table.
Apparently, his deal will now run until 2023, with Matic turning down offers, including those from Serie A clubs, to stay at United and continue to be an ‘important player’.
First and foremost, I’d like to apologise to the Serb. I thought he was finished at the highest level and Scott McTominay was the future. The latter may still be true, though the Lancaster-born midfielder may have to wait a little longer just yet following the news that suggest Matic signs a new contract.
I will admit my surprise at the length of this deal. Three years is an extremely lengthy contract for a man who turns 32 in less than a month. Typically, United offer one-year rolling contracts to players over 30 and it seems pretty mad to me that they’re seemingly willing to offer Matic three more years after a decent few months.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been delighted with the way Matic has been performing. A one-year extension definitely makes sense, while an argument can be made for a two-year deal. Three years though? He’ll be 35 when this contract expires and there’s an awful lot of football to be played before then.
Maybe the 20-time Premier League champions have become prisoners of the moment. Sure, his experience will be invaluable in that dressing room, though I can’t help but feel this is just too long.