Nemanja Matic has reunited with Jose Mourinho at a third club by signing for Roma on an initial one-year contract.
Matic has become Roma’s first confirmed signing of the summer. The defensive midfielder has arrived from Manchester United on a free transfer after five seasons at Old Trafford, where he was originally signed by Mourinho – who also acquired him during his second spell with Chelsea beforehand.
Matic, who turns 34 in August, has now agreed to a third stint with Mourinho. He has signed a one-year contract with Roma, which reportedly contains the option for a further 12 months. It will represent his first time playing in Serie A.
The 48-cap former Serbia international told the club website: “I am pleased and honoured to be joining this club and I cannot wait to start the new season with my teammates.
“Roma is a big club, with amazing fans and a coach, Jose Mourinho, who is well known to everyone – making the decision to come here very straightforward.
“I hope that by working together we are able to achieve some great things.”
Matic will wear the number 21 shirt for Roma, just as he used to for Benfica and Chelsea.
Across his lengthy managerial career, Mourinho has only given more appearances than Matic to six players. Now, he will add to his 159 outings under Roma’s coach.
In the process, he will provide Mourinho with what he has been looking for in midfield. Matic, who stands at 6’4” tall, possesses natural defensive traits in the middle of the pitch, while also being comfortable on the ball.
He began his career in 2005, playing for Kolubara in his native Serbia. After two seasons there, he took the next step to Kosice in Slovakia, where he made 70 appearances between 2007 and 2009.
From there, he earned his first Premier League transfer to Chelsea, who were managed by ex-Roma midfielder Carlo Ancelotti at the time. However, Matic struggled to make an impression, managing just three appearances in his debut season.
For the next campaign, he went on loan to Vitesse in the Netherlands, before a permanent transfer to Benfica in 2011.
During his time in Portugal, Matic made 99 appearances across three seasons. His spell with Benfica culminated in a league title in 2014, although by that point he had already left the club. Indeed, during that season’s January window, Mourinho brought him back to England for a second spell with Chelsea.
This time, Matic was much more successful. Across three-and-a-half seasons, he played 151 times and lifted two Premier League titles – including one with Mourinho.Embed from Getty Images
Hence, when Mourinho embarked on his second season with Manchester United, he raided his former club to work with Matic again. Just like at Chelsea, Matic would outlast his manager in Manchester, eventually spending five seasons there.
No more medals were added to his cabinet, but his tally of 189 appearances represented the most he had played for one club – and that club was one of the biggest in the world.
Now, Matic faces a new challenge in Italy, where Mourinho will be welcoming him with open arms again.