Manchester United have completed the signing of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea
for £40m on a three-year deal.
The midfielder, 28, becomes United’s third summer buy after £31m defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica and £75m striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton.
United manager Jose Mourinho described Matic as a “team player” who has “everything we want in a footballer; loyalty, consistency, ambition”.
Matic said he was “delighted” to be joining at “an exciting time”.
The Serbia midfielder added: “To work with Jose Mourinho once again was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.
“I have enjoyed my time at Chelsea and would like to thank the club and the fans for their support. I cannot wait to meet my new team-mates and to start training with them.”
In 2015, Matic was named in the PFA’s Premier League team of the year, along with five other players from Chelsea’s title-winning team.
Matic cost £40 million, a fee that makes him the sixth-most transfer between English clubs — six of the top seven have involved Manchester clubs — and while his arrival might not excite fans like the signing of a goalscorer such as Romelu Lukaku, his arrival will help free up attack-minded players, especially Paul Pogba.
“Nemanja is a Manchester United player and a Jose Mourinho player. He represents everything we want in a footballer; loyalty, consistency, ambition, team player,” Mourinho said in a statement.
“I would like to thank him for his desire to join us because without that, it would be impossible to have him here. I am sure our players and supporters will love him. A big welcome to our new number 31.”
Former Chelsea manager Mourinho spent £21m to sign Matic for a second spell at Stamford Bridge in January 2014.
He had been valued at less than £5m when he left as a makeweight in a deal for defender David Luiz in January 2011, two years after he first joined the Blues in £1.5m move from Slovakian club MFK Kosice.
Matic scored once in 35 Premier League appearances during Chelsea’s title-winning 2016-17 season, also striking spectacularly in their FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham in April.
His exit had been expected after the Blues signed France international Tiemoue Bakayoko, 22, from French champions Monaco in a reported £40m deal earlier in July.
Italian champions Juventus were also understood to be keen on Matic.