Nemanja Matic Calls Chelsea Decision to Freeze Him Out 'Strange' Ahead of £40m Man Utd Switch

Thursday August 3rd, 2017

Nemanja Matic has admitted it was "strange" to be left out in the cold at Chelsea ahead of his £40m switch to Premier League rivals Manchester United.

The midfield enforcer made his United bow in Wednesday's pre-season friendly win over Sampdoria - a fixture that was also his first match since last season's FA Cup final against Arsenal.

The London Evening Standard quoted Matic as he gave his first interview to the assembled press after the 2-1 victory over the Serie A side, and he explained that it was something of a surreal experience to be frozen out by former boss Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge.

He said: "It was strange [not playing in pre-season] because the team (Chelsea) has played and had a good pre-season but, as you know, I trained alone in London."

Matic was left at Chelsea's Cobham training base in west London following speculation that he wanted to be reunited with Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.

The Serbia international was expected to be part of the Blues' travelling party for their pre-season tour of the Far East, but Conte informed Matic that he would remain in England and train alone - a decision which has not yet had a confirmed reasoning linked to it.

Having put all of that trouble behind him now, Matic is solely concentrating on performing at his best for United.

The 28-year-old revelled in his first appearance for Mourinho's men and, when asked about how easy he was finding settling in to his new surroundings, Matic revealed that his new team-mates had already made him feel at ease.

He added: "I must say thanks to the guys. They've helped me to already become part of the team and they are all nice guys. I played in a few clubs in my career but these guys in this dressing room are amazing.

"I think the staff have also helped me a lot, and I say thanks to them because they've accepted me very well already."

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