Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has revealed that ex-Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has decided to leave Old Trafford of his own accord. The Serbian made the announcement last week that he was set to exit the club at the end of this season.
Taking to Instagram, he wrote: “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 honour 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 team-mates finish as strongly as possible.”
READ MORE: Mason Mount set to surpass impressive Frank Lampard record ahead of Chelsea vs Arsenal
Matic’s exit is set to bring to an end his five-year stay at Old Trafford since a £40m switch from Chelsea back in the summer of 2017. Since then, the three-time Premier League winner has gone on to make 184 appearances for the Red Devils – more than he did for the Blues – but never managed to lift a trophy during his stay with United.
Despite both the club and the player retaining the option to extend his current deal, Matic announced his decision to leave – a call that was solely the player’s and not the club’s.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of this week’s clash with Liverpool, Rangnick said: “No, the only one who told me and with whom I have spoken to recently about this was Nema [Matic].
“We had also spoken on Friday evening in the hotel before the game. He didn’t do anything wrong. For the next year there was an option in the contract. It was optional for both the club and for the player to decide if he wants to stay here and he decided after, I don’t know, five years of being here, to now go elsewhere.
“Knowing Nema, he will be a player until the very, very last day he’s here. He will put all the effort into the best possible performance. In the last [few] games, whenever I let him play, and when he has got game time, he did well.”
Matic could be set to appear against his former club Chelsea before his departure from United. The Blues are set to travel to Old Trafford later this month in what could potentially be a key clash in the race for the Champions League places come the end of the season.