Nemanja Matic: Manchester United midfielder signs new three-year contract
Serbia international forced way back into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans in early part of 2020 during absence of injured duo Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay
Last Updated: 06/07/20 5:11pm
Nemanja Matic has agreed a new three-year deal at Manchester United, which keeps the midfielder at the club until 2023.
The Serbian's Old Trafford career looked to be nearing its end in January with the midfielder open to leaving during the winter window but he forced his way back into manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans after a string of impressive performances in the early part of 2020 during the absence of the injured Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.
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In March, United triggered a one-year option in Matic's previous contract and began discussions on an improved deal.
"I am very happy that I will continue to be part of this great club," the 31-year-old told the club's website.
"As a player, I still have a lot more to give and achieve in my career and to do that with Manchester United will be a huge honour.
"This is a really exciting team to be part of, we have a good balance of youth and experience within the squad and there is great comradery amongst the group.
"This is a key part of the season and we are playing well. We will continue to fight to finish the season on a high and make our amazing supporters proud."
Solskjaer added: "I am delighted that Nemanja has signed a new contract, I know his experience, professionalism and leadership will be invaluable to this young talented group.
"We have great strength in midfield and Nemanja's attributes are a key part of that. Nemanja has been here for three seasons now and really understands the values of playing for Manchester United.
"He remains hugely ambitious and determined which will be vital as we look to achieve our aims over the coming years."
Matic has been a key figure in United's impressive form since the Premier League's restart, coming off the bench against Tottenham before starting in each of their last three league victories.
He joined United from Chelsea in 2017 following three-and-a-half years at Stamford Bridge. Matic has since featured 114 times for United, scoring four goals.
Nemanja Matic looked like he could be on his way out of Manchester United earlier this year, with the 31-year-old open to leaving during the January transfer window but he forced his way back into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans after a string of impressive performances in the early part of 2020 during the absence of the injured Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.
During an exclusive interview with Sky Sports last week, Matic said he knew he would have to remain patient and wait for his chance to play so he could earn Solskjaer's trust.
"I always try to be professional and give my best when I am on the pitch, it doesn't matter if it is training or a game," he told Sky Sports.
"I've played football for a long time already and this situation is normal, sometimes you don't play and the coach doesn't see you as a first option. You can accept it or not but you have to be professional.
"You have to work hard, wait for your chance and use it. This is exactly what I did.
"Now the situation is different, the coach trusts me more. I'm a soldier and I wait for the instructions from my coaching team.
"To be honest, when you don't play of course you think about everything but in my head I always try to be positive. I always believe in my quality and I know if work hard my time is going to come again."
Shaw: Matic massive part of United revival
Matic will turn 32 in August but age has not slowed him down in recent weeks, as he emerged as a key cog in United's midfield, providing cover in front of the back four and allowing Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes to help out in attack.
United team-mate Luke Shaw says Matic has been an unsung hero in United's recent success.
Shaw told Sky Sports: "Nemanja I think has still got legs in him. He might be getting towards the older stage now but for me he's been a massive part of the recent results we have had.
"He's a big part of that midfield and he's really stepped it up in the last few weeks and been a key player for us.
"You don't get the plaudits all the time. Other people in the team are getting the goals and assists, but he's a massive part of why we keep clean sheets and the solidity that we have in front of the back four. It's nice to know he's there cleaning everything up."