Cold water poured on Man Utd star’s potential return to former club

Date published: Sunday 14th March 2021 9:21 - Steve Pearson


The speculated summer exit of a fringe Man Utd star to his former club has been deemed an unworkable option for several reasons, according to a report.

Man Utd have been heavily linked with making a blockbuster signing in the summer transfer window.

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Borussia Dortmund duo Jadon Sancho and Erling Braut Haaland have both been frequently linked.

Sancho was the club’s number one target last season. However, Norwegian sensation Haaland’s incredible progression has seemingly seen him usurp the Englishman atop their wish list.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer retains a relationship with the goal machine from their time at Molde – something he reminded the world of last week.

To help facilitate such an expensive purchase, a number of exits of current stars may be required.

One such player who has been linked with a departure is midfield enforcer, Nemanja Matic.

The Serbian, 32, has become a peripheral figure at the club this season. Fred and Scott McTominay have been Solskjaer’s preferred midfield pairing. Furthermore, Paul Pogba provides a significant obstacle to first-team opportunities.

Matic has been linked with a return to former club Benfica having spent three years in Portugal between 2011-14.

Nemanja Matic TEAMtalk

However, Portuguese journalist Rui Pedro Braz has laid out several reasons why a move is unlikely despite the club making similar type moves for Premier League veterans Jan Vertonghen and Nicolas Otamendi six months ago.

Speaking live to TVI24 (via SportWitness), the journalist noted that Otamendi and Vertonghen’s arrivals came with club-friendlier terms than Matic is likely to command.

Additionally, the veteran pair’s presence may be enough to ward Benfica off pursuing a deal given they already have experience in abundance.

Finally and perhaps most damningly, Braz declares that the club should not be looking to sign ‘elder players who only want to finish their careers at the Estádio da Luz.’


Benfica boss admits difficulties over Man Utd transfer

Nemanja Matic; Victor Lindelof TEAMtalk

Benfica manager Jorge Jesus has dampened hopes of the move further after admitting that his club will have difficulties trying to bring Matic back to Portugal.

If Matic does depart in the summer, it appears Benfica would be his preferred destination.

He told Sport TV: “I still don’t think about finishing my career. Let’s see.

“For me, Benfica was always in the heart. Let’s see what the future will bring.

“If Benfica ever thinks they need me again, let’s think about it. But now I’m very happy at United, I don’t think about leaving, but in football you never know.

“If one day I return to Portugal, the only team I wanted to play for in Portugal is Benfica.


“I was very happy there. Benfica is one of the best clubs in the world. I was very happy there in the team, with the fans and with everyone in the club.

“Whenever I have time, I like to go to Lisbon. My family also likes it a lot and misses everyone from Lisbon.”

However, the 66-year-old Benfica boss is not confident of sealing a return for his former midfielder.

According to A Bola, as cited by Sport Witness, the Benfica boss stated that Matic would have to drop his wage demands considerably.

Portuguese clubs have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. To that end they do not have the same financial backing as club’s like United.

READ MORE: New Man Utd sensation Amad Diallo was ‘one step away’ from rival move


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