Nemanja Matic has dropped a pretty clear hint that he would welcome the opportunity to return to Benfica one day.
The Serbian is no longer at starter at United, though he could still play an important role between now and the end of the season, as one of the most experienced players in the squad at least.
I reckon he will start tonight against AC Milan, but it could be either Fred or Scott McTominay to partner him in the middle. Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba are still unavailable for selection.
Solskjaer could opt to keep hold of Matic next season but it’s probably time to free up a bit of the wage bill – and replace him with a younger defensive minded midfielder. That depends on what can be done in the transfer market because we’re expecting another bleak outcome for the manager.
The 32-year-old would not rule out a move to Benfica in the future when asked.
“I still don’t think about finishing my career,” Matic told Sport TV, as translated by the Manchester Evening News: “Let’s see. For me, Benfica was always in the heart. Let’s see what the future will bring.
“If Benfica ever thinks it needs me again, let’s think about it, but now I’m very happy at Man 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 was Benfica.”
He added: “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 through Lisbon. My family also likes it a lot. From Lisbon and misses everyone.”
Matic spent three years at Benfica after joining from Chelsea in January 2011 before going on to re-join Chelsea.