Manchester United will have their work cut out for them this summer on the recruitment front after veteran midfielder Nemanja Matić announced his intention to leave the club this summer.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) April 15, 2022
As reported by Sky Sports among other outlets and sources, the veteran Serbian international took to his Instagram account to make the announcement.
“After a great deal of thought, I have decided that this season will be my last with Manchester United. I have informed the board, the manager, and the players of my decision.
“It has been a huge honor and a privilege to play for this great club. A big thank you to the fans for their unwavering support. I will now give everything until the end of the season to help my teammates finish as strongly as possible.”
The news comes as a surprise to United considering the fact that Matić still has one year remaining on his current deal at Old Trafford after the current 2021-22 Premier League season comes to an end.
Now, United is no doubt faced with a huge task ahead to replace key players in an already thin midfield at the Theatre of Dreams.
With Paul Pogba all but assured to depart the club in the summer as well, potential new boss Erik ten Hag will have big questions that will need answering in the opening days and weeks of his new regime that is expected to take hold at United after it has been previously reported that the club reached an agreement in principle with the Dutch tactician.
But the current AFC Ajax headmaster could already have plans in place that directly target the hole that Matić will leave through his departure, after reports in ESPN suggest that Ten Hag will prioritize the signing of AS Monaco youngster Aurélien Tchouameni.
It was previously thought that United and others had fallen behind La Liga giants Real Madrid in the race for Tchouameni a few weeks ago, but the need for United to secure a defensive midfielder is a pressing one.
Considering that Matić is the only true out-and-out defensive midfielder in the United first-team ranks at current, a move for Tchouameni – or another player in that position – would be paramount for the club especially on a tactical level as Ten Hag is a champion of utilizing a 4-3-3 deployment.