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Jose Mourinho reveals incident with Nemanja Matic that will ‘mark him forever’

The Manchester United manager was keen to bring his former player in from Chelsea this summer

Jose Mourinho and Nemanja Matic are two peas in a pod.

The ‘Special One’ went some distance to pull off what looks like being one of the signings of the season when he brought the midfielder to Manchester United this summer.

Matic has played every minute of league football for Manchester United this term

Getty - Contributor
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Matic has played every minute of league football for Manchester United this term

On paper, £40m for a 29-year-old seems like excessive business but the reality is Matic has settled almost seamlessly at Old Trafford and Chelsea’s decision to sell now looks naive.

And Mourinho, in an interview with The Times, has opened up about his special relationship with the Serbian international who he classes as one of ‘my guys.’

Matic and Mourinho go way back

PA:Empics Sport
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Matic and Mourinho go way back

One moment in particular resonates with the United boss from their time together at Chelsea – and it proved an unfortunate one for Matic.

Mourinho said: “Matic, I cannot say that I had better guys than him in my career.

“And he has with me something which marks forever, which was a match where he was on the bench, I play him minute 45 and I took him off minute 70, 75.

“The press wants a story, the press wants blood. My blood, or his blood, or both. He was really sad.

Mourinho substituted Matic despite bringing him on at half time

PA:Press Association
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Mourinho substituted Matic despite bringing him on at half time

“I was also sad because it’s not something nice and it’s something that I did only twice in my career.

“But the next day he comes to me and he says, ‘I’m not happy, but it’s my fault. I’m not happy with what you did to me, but it’s my fault, because the way I was playing I can understand the change. So let’s keep going.”

Mourinho’s second spell at Stamford Bridge ended acrimoniously with rumours of dressing room unrest within the squad, but he’s insisted Matic always remained loyal.

Mourinho and Matic are back in the Champions League together this season at United

PA:Press Association
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Mourinho and Matic are back in the Champions League together this season at United

“We didn’t keep going for a long time because a few weeks later I was sacked,” he added.

“But again he was one of ‘my guys’, was one of the guys that we kept close during these years even not working together. So I know that the big man is there, even with more maturity.”

Matic’s move to United looks like a masterstroke having given Paul Pogba more of an attacking license, with the Frenchman bagging two goals and two assists in four Premier League games so far this season.

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