Belfast Telegraph

Nemanja Matic joins Manchester United and gets Fellaini's old number

Manchester United have signed Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for a reported £40 million fee.

The 28 year-old made 154 appearances for Chelsea during two spells at Stamford Bridge and now joins Old Trafford to link up with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. He will wear the number 31 shirt, previously worn by Bastien Schweinsteiger and Marouane Fellaini.

The move has been rumoured for several weeks and on Sunday a photograph was leaked of the player wearing a Manchester United training top.

It was Mourinho who brought the midfielder back to Chelsea in 2013. Matic immediately became a key part of the club's midfield, starting 108 Premier League matches in the three and a half seasons of his second spell at Chelsea.

He joins Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelöf to make it three new recruits at Old Trafford this season. Rumours of his arrival had fuelled speculation that Marouane Fellaini, who has worn number 27 at United since 2015, would leave the club to join Galatasaray but boss Mourinho doused those rumours on Sunday.

"It's easier for Galatasaray to get me than Marouane," he said, according to Sky Sports. "If they need a manager, they have a chance, but Marouane? Forget it. He is too important to me."

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