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“We won”- Mourinho coy when asked about signing Man United veteran once again

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (R) gestures as he speaks with Manchester United's Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Young Boys and Manchester United at The Stade de Suisse in Bern on September 19, 2018. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho remains coy on reuniting with Nemanja Matic at AS Roma next term

Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports, former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has remained coy on a potential reunion with midfielder Nemanja Matic next season, with the player set to depart the English side in the summer.

Mourinho is currently in charge of AS Roma, whom he has led to the final of the UEFA Europa Conference League this term. He previously managed United between 2016 and 2019, winning the FA Community Shield, League Cup, and the UEFA Europa League.

When asked about making a move for Matic ahead of the new campaign, Mourinho said that he never likes to speak about other players. The Portuguese coach said that everyone knew about his relationship with the Serbian star, and that he was one of the guys whom he trusted.

“I never like to speak about players, I don’t think it’s good for me, the club, the players. Everybody knows my relationship with Nemanja, he’s one of the guys with my trust. We won together, we fought together in United too.”

Nemanja Matic set to depart Manchester United for free in the summer. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Nemanja Matic set to depart Manchester United for free in the summer. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The 33-year-old is set to depart the Red Devils as a free agent at the end of the current season, after spending five years at the club. He had joined the Manchester side from Chelsea in 2017, reuniting with Mourinho once again after their previous link-up at Stamford Bridge.

“He’s a fantastic player”

Mourinho had signed Matic from Benfica in 2014, combining forces to help the Blues win the Premier League. While the manager would later depart and eventually join United in 2017, the midfielder spent a few more years in London as he picked up yet another league title and the FA Cup.

Ahead of Matic’s departure from Old Trafford, Mourinho refused to comment on whether a third reunion at Roma was possible next season. The ex-Real Madrid coach instead praised his former star for being a fantastic player, saying that answering the question would not be good for either him or the midfielder.

“He’s a fantastic player but that’s the kind of answer that is not good for me or for the player.”

Jose Mourinho refused to comment on reuniting with Nemanja Matic at AS Roma next season.
Jose Mourinho refused to comment on reuniting with Nemanja Matic at AS Roma next season. Picture credit should read: David Klein/Sportimage

Whether or not Matic links up with Mourinho once again, it is United who will suffer from losing the only defensive midfielder in their squad in the summer. A replacement for the Serbian will need to be looked at in the upcoming transfer window.

Fred and Scott McTominay have tried their hand at playing in Matic’s position, but neither of them have been convincing enough to claim his place. Perhaps we could see someone from the academy step up next season and try their hand at nailing down the position.

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Although Matic will depart the club not having won any trophies, he will be fondly remembered by the fans for being a committed servant to the side. He brought some stability and steel to the midfield that it otherwise lacked, guiding the team through a tough period.

At 33, his age has slowly started creeping up his legs and affecting his mobility on the pitch. However, he is still capable of doing a fine job in midfield, and perhaps Mourinho could benefit from having Matic in his team and utilise his vast experience.

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