Gary Neville predicts where Man United, Chelsea will finish this season

Matic featured 35 times in the English league last term, according to WhoScored.com, and he is destined to become a regular at Old Trafford.

“You saw that with Chelsea last year – him and Kante were magnificent last year and that allowed Hazard, Fabregas, whoever else was playing that bit of freedom, and I’m hoping he’ll do that for United – a bit of freedom for Pogba, Martial, Lingard, Mkhitaryan – these players really need to step up this year”.

Pogba scored just the nine times in all competitions last season, only five of which were in the league, as United limped to a sixth-place finish.

With Matic now in a United shirt, it is unlikely Fabinho would be used to screen the defence, but his knowledge at right-back would be welcomed by the self-proclaimed Special One.

“Whether Conte knows something different to us, I don’t know”, he said. “It was certainly a position that Manchester United as a team needed to strengthen, and they’ve gone and done it with Matic”.

“When a player leaves a club, you do not normally see a manager speak so glowingly about them”, the former England worldwide told Sky Sports. The Champions League is obviously more hard. Was it his dream to go and play for Manchester United?

He brings aggression to United’s midfield which is something I think they have been lacking“.

“He seemed like he wanted to leave previous year at times, although he was very influential and played very well”, he said of Costa.

But Mourinho was nevertheless impressed with his former Chelsea charge: “I think he played really well, I think in the moment they were moving the ball well of course was hard for us in the midfield”.

On the prospect of re-signing Ibrahimovic once the 35-year-old striker has recovered, Mourinho said: “We are having conversations and discussing the possibility of him staying for the second part of the season”.

“We just develop that and we played in a couple of matches, Sampdoria and I think the LA Galaxy, because it is something during the season we are maybe going to do”.

Chelsea are weaker than last season – no Diego Costa, no Matic – and I’m concerned for them”.

“At 29, I can understand why Chelsea sold him but it’s still a good signing for Man United as there are not many of those players about”.