Matic vows to fight for United spot; De Gea signs new long-term deal - GulfToday

Matic vows to fight for United spot; De Gea signs new long-term deal

Matic vows to  fight for United  spot; De Gea signs new  long-term deal

Nemanja Matic hopes to make his second start of the season when Manchester United will kick off their Europa League campaign at home to Astana on Thursday.

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic is frustrated by his limited playing opportunities at the start of the Premier League campaign but will continue to fight for his place in the team.

The 31-year-old Serb lost his spot to academy graduate Scott McTominay at the heart of United’s midfield but made his first start in five matches replacing the injured Paul Pogba in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Leicester City.

Asked if being dropped by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had left him frustrated, Matic told reporters: “Of course... I want to play, I always give my best for the team.

“The coach is the man who picks the team and when you’re on the bench you’re not happy, but I’m trying to convince him to change his mind and pick me to play.

“The season is long. As you saw I played (against Leicester) and we won. I’m happy so we’ll see in the future what the coach will decide.”

Matic, a fixture in United’s midfield since his move from Chelsea in 2017, said the club’s young players had deserved their chances under Solskjaer.

Apart from McTominay, United have given regular playing time to Marcus Rashford, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, all of whom are 21.

“I don’t believe in age, good players or bad players. It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 35, so I think who played... deserved to play,” Matic added.

“I’m happy for the young players, they get the opportunity to play. It’s not always the case in big clubs... this season the people from the club, they can see who’s ready to play already in a high level.”

Meanwhile, David de Gea has signed a new long-term contract with United, the Premier League club announced on Monday, ending months of speculation over his future.

The 28-year-old, who had been linked with a return to Spain with Real Madrid for several seasons, has put pen to paper on a new four-year deal.

“David de Gea has signed a new long-term contract with Manchester United, keeping him at the club until at least June 2023,” United said on their official website. “There is an option to extend for a further year.”

Former manager Alex Ferguson brought De Gea to the club from Atletico Madrid in 2011 in an £18.9 million ($23 million) deal and he has since made 367 appearances for the club.

“It has been a privilege to spend eight years at this great club and the opportunity to continue my career at Manchester United is a genuine honour,” said the goalkeeper.

“Since I arrived here, I could never have imagined I would play over 350 games for this club. Now my future is fixed, all I want is to help this team achieve what I believe we can and win trophies again, together.”

De Gea joined in the year that United reached their third Champions League final in four years.

The club’s fortunes have since dipped under a succession of different managers but the Spaniard has won the Premier League, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League since arriving at Old Trafford.

“There’s no place like home,” he tweeted, accompanied by a video of himself the club’s stadium.

Solskjaer said he was delighted the Spaniard had committed his long-term future to the club.

“Over recent years, David has proved himself to be the best in the world and a vital part of our plans as we look to take Manchester United back to where it belongs. David is a fantastic person and his outstanding quality provides the perfect base to our defence”

De Gea, capped 40 times by Spain, came close to joining Real Madrid in 2015 only for a paperwork delay to stop the deal going through before the transfer deadline.

Agencies