Rio Ferdinand expects this great Manchester United player to leave at the end of the season. It’s not Ronaldo

Photo: Getty images

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has said he’d be ‘surprised’ if Nemanja Matic is part of Manchester United’s squad for next season.

The 33-year-old is still under contract until the summer of 2023, but has seen his influence wane in recent years as he is past his prime time.

“Very good footballer, simple, understands the role really well, covers spaces, physical enough, big enough to handle the physical demands. I really like him and respect him as a player,” Ferdinand said on his YouTube channel Vibe with FIVE.

“He’s at the wrong end in terms of age. He’s got until the end of this season and I’d be surprised if he’s in the squad next season just based on the age of what he is and where he is in his career, but he is a great servant to football, great player.”

Ralf Rangnick recently praised Matic’s calming influence following the game against Atletico Madrid.

“[He’s] very important, a very experienced player, very positive in his approach. But also critical, he speaks up when he has got something to say,” Rangnick said.

“It’s not only that he calmed down the game, but we had more options in our build-up, we had our full-backs positioned higher from that very moment.

“He was more or less playing like a quarterback, and we could build up with himself and the two centre-backs. Our full-backs were positioned higher, we had more verticality, more speed, more movement with Anthony and Jesse [Lingard] later on and that’s why it was a completely different game from our perspective in the second half.”