Nemanja Matic

Erik ten Hag reportedly tried to encourage Nemanja Matic to extend his contract at Manchester United as he thought the Serbian was a ‘good influence in the dressing room’.

Matic – who revealed in April that he would be leaving Old Trafford at the end of the season – reunited with former boss Jose Mourinho for a third time by signing for Roma last month.

The 33-year-old has signed for Roma on a one-year contract that runs until 30 June 2023 after United agree to his exit. However, reports have since stated that Ten Hag tried to keep hold of the midfielder.

Manchester United’s captain Harry Maguire has come under fire for his performances on the pitch and his decision-making off it.

Therefore, the current leadership dynamic at United has been a topic over conversation over the last few months.

According to The Athletic, Ten Hag tried to encourage Matic to extend his contract at Manchester United as he felt he had a commanding but positive presence in the changing room.

However, Matic – who spent five years at United after joining from Chelsea – decided to part ways with the club and join Roma instead.

He made over 100 Premier League appearances during his spell at Old Trafford after arriving from Chelsea for £40million in 2017, but started only 16 times last season.

Therefore, the 33-year-old wanted to move to a top-flight club where he would gain more first-team minutes.

Ten Hag will continue to access the leadership dynamic at Manchester United amid Maguire’s ongoing scrutiny following a disappointing 2021-2022 campaign.

Ten Hag plans to keep him as one of his central defenders alongside Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof but could strip him of his captaincy following his latest gaffe.

Maguire liked an Instagram post about Cristiano Ronaldo’s anger at Manchester United salary cuts – before quickly backtracking and insisting it was done in error.

Fans slammed Maguire and questioned his captain’s credentials after the incident, in which he reacted to a post about United’s reported 25 per cent pay cuts after missing out on next season’s Champions League.

Maguire was quick to pour water on the outrage on Wednesday afternoon, admitting to the BBC that he did like the photo – but immediately removed it because he had clicked in error.

As a result, Ten Hag will think carefully about whether he allows Maguire to continue as the club captain next season.


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