The transfer window is done and dusted, and it was a mixed experience for Manchester United.
In Bruno Fernandes we got the player we wanted, but why did it have to take so long?
There was a lack of urgency, especially in regards to the midfield after injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.
Nemanja Matic came back to play a prominent role alongside Fred, stepping up and really proving his quality.
Matic’s contract is expiring and it makes no sense from a sporting or business perspective to allow him to leave for free this summer.
The MEN report United have an option in his current deal to trigger a one-year extension until 2021.
This is a no-brainer, an absolute must, and it gives United flexibility to still sell him this summer if the right offer comes in.
A longer term contract offer is more of a gamble, if United worry about his age, and abilities starting to decline, although this past month showed he has plenty left in the tank.
Matic admitted he is happy to stay if United want him, telling The Guardian: “I’m at Carrington every day and open to talks if they think I can help, but if not life will go on. No discussions have happened yet, but my position is clear.
“It is a pleasure to represent this club, I came here to win things and if they want me to stay then of course I’ll give my best to try and win trophies.”
United need a defensive midfielder to replace Matic long term. A player like Lille’s Boubakary Soumare might be ideal, while Brescia’s Sandro Tonali would bring a very different style to the table.
Extending Matic just gives United more freedom in case a deal does not come off, he is a proven option, and if new players are signed in the summer, then the club can then sell and get a fee.
It just makes no sense to let him walk for free, and a new one-year extension would be welcomed by supporters, rather than criticised like Ashley Young’s renewal was a year ago.
We fully expect United to get to work on this with Matic, and for an extension to be triggered soon, perhaps even over the winter break.
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