Roma boss Jose Mourinho has shied away from confirming his interest in signing Manchester United contract rebel Nemanja Matic, but admits he is a ‘fantastic’ player who ‘has his trust’.
The Serbian midfielder declined to trigger a one-year contract extension to stay at Old Trafford until 2023 and has confirmed that he will leave the club when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
Despite his advancing years, the 33-year-old still played 23 times in the Premier League this season as well as making eight appearances in the Champions League.
After spending the last eight-and-a-half years in England, his next club looks likely to be in Italy, with the likes of Juventus and Roma linked with moves for the soon-to-be free agent.
Giallorossi boss Mourinho has signed Matic twice previously – bringing him back to Chelsea from Benfica in 2014 before reuniting at United in 2017 – and while he would not confirm an approach this summer, he made it clear the Serbian is still a player he rates massively.
Asked if Matic might be joining him in Rome, Mourinho told Sky Sports: ‘I never like to speak about players. I don’t think it’s good for me, the club, the player.
‘Everyone knows my relationship with Nemanja. He’s one of the guys with my trust. We won together, we fought together – in United too.
‘He’s a fantastic player, but that’s a kind of answer that is not good for me or for the player.’
Speaking about his future earlier this week, Matic himself told K1 Televizija: ‘The options are still open but what is certain is that this is my last season at United.
‘I want to finish it in the best possible way. We have another game on May 22, and after that I will make a decision about where I will continue my career.’
Mourinho has two other ex-United players in his Roma squad – Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan – and when talking about the latter he took the opportunity to share his lingering love for United despite the acrimonious nature of his departure.
He added: ‘We won together three titles with Manchester United – unfortunately the last three titles of Man United! And I say unfortunately because, yes, I like the club very, very much and I wish the club the best.’
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