It is a poorly kept secret that Manchester United’s Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic is unhappy at Old Trafford due to a lack of playing time.
Even an interview on the club’s official website barely disguised the 31-year-old’s state of mind. ‘When I’m on the pitch, I’m happy and I will continue to do my job’ says Matic. ‘Those young guys in our changing room – they are the future of Manchester United’. In other words, when I’m off the pitch I’m not happy, and I am not the future of Manchester United.
With the Red Devils’ midfield options already stretched to the limit, it would seem unthinkable that the club would allow the Serbian to leave at this stage of the season. Yet Olé Gunnar Solskjaer made a cryptic remark at yesterday’s press conference. ‘There’s always a chance teams will come and be interested in some of ours, maybe they’re not happy they haven’t played enough so of course there might be a chance [of a player leaving in January].’
That sounds a lot like he’s talking about Matic.
Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward will also be well aware that the January window will be the last chance to recoup some transfer revenue for Matic, who can leave on a free transfer in June when his contract expires.
Matic’s future probably hinges on whether Woodward is successful in bringing in midfield reinforcements in January. United simply cannot afford to be another man lighter in the middle of the park, but if a player is brought in, it seems almost certain that the Serbian will be allowed to leave.