Erik ten Hag believes Manchester United's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa in Australia will provide important experience for the forthcoming season, following a second-half fightback from Steven Gerrard's side. 

Jadon Sancho scored his third goal in four pre-season games with a first-half volley, which was added to by an own goal, but Leon Bailey pulled one back for Villa in the second half before Calum Chambers' equaliser in the dying moments.

The draw ends United's perfect pre-season run so far, having won each of their three games prior to the clash against their fellow Premier League side, but Ten Hag has seen the positives and believes the setback can provide an education for the upcoming season.

"First half, it was a decent performance, second half, we came back out of the dressing room and we had to control the game but we gave it away. That is no good, so that is a lesson," he told MUTV.

"From the players, the team, I think there has been a lot of progress. There's been some positive aspects. 

"In the end there was a setback but that is also a part of the season because a season is not always getting up, you will also have setbacks that you have to deal with."

United face Atletico Madrid in Oslo later this week in their penultimate pre-season match, before bringing their preparations for 2022-23 to a close against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford next Sunday, and Ten Hag has outlined how he wants his team to continue to play in those games.

"We now play a different type of football against different systems, I think that will also be the case when we play the two Spanish teams," he added.

"What we want is to play proactive football, we want to play with initiative, we want to play attacking football. That is also what we have seen today over a long period but in the end, you have to control the game and that's what we didn't do."

Everton are to offer free tickets to Ukrainian refugees on Merseyside for their pre-season friendly with Dynamo Kyiv later this month, the club has announced.

The encounter, part of the Ukrainian Premier League outfit's Match for Peace initiative, was already set to deliver proceeds towards humanitarian charities supporting the nation's citizens following their invasion by Russia.

The Toffees, who signed Vitaliy Mykolenko from Dynamo in January, and made a £500,000 contribution to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal in March, will now go a step further, with displaced natives set to be allowed free entry.

The club are working with councils around the Merseyside area to ensure invitations are handed out for the match, which will be played on July 29, to those housed through the government’s Homes For Ukraine scheme.

"We are committed to doing all we can to help those people impacted by the shocking war in Ukraine," manager Frank Lampard stated.

"This game provides a spotlight on that fundraising activity and by raising funds together, we can help those affected by the ongoing conflict."

Bayern Munich have reportedly enquired with Tottenham about the availability of star England striker Harry Kane – and it is said that the Premier League side have not made him untouchable.

The Bundesliga champions are on the hunt for a replacement up front after losing club legend Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona, and the report from BILD claims they view the 28-year-old as a viable option long-term.

Kane has two years remaining on his contract, but if negotiations over an extension begin to trend in a direction that indicates he may leave, the club could have no choice but to cash in before potentially losing him for free.

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN VIEW KANE AS IDEAL LEWANDWOSKI REPLACEMENT

Kane has emerged as England's best striker in recent years, racking up 50 international goals from 73 senior caps, while also putting together eight straight seasons with at least 24 goals in club competitions.

Tottenham's number nine would undoubtedly command a monstrous transfer fee – likely upwards of £100million – but with Antonio Conte's side competing in the Champions League this season, and with aspirations of conquering the Premier League, they may decide they prefer the player over the money.

What Bayern's interest does is increase Kane's leverage for his contract negotiations, with it now clear the top teams in the world value him as one of the game's great goalscorers.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Daily Mail is reporting that Arsenal are offering Bukayo Saka a contract that would double his salary in an effort to fend off interest from rival clubs, including Manchester City.

– According to The Athletic, Chelsea and Tottenham have both made enquiries about Newcastle United forward Allan Saint-Maximin.

West Ham have agreed to a £30.5m deal for in-demand 23-year-old Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca, according to The Guardian, after Paris Saint-Germain also signalled their interest in the Italian recently.

– Free agent Andrea Belotti desires a move to the Premier League now that his seven-year stint at Torino has come to an end, with The Sun reporting Newcastle United, Everton and West Ham are potential landing spots.  

– Express is reporting Leeds United are reaching advanced stages in their £17m chase of 20-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward Arnaud Kalimuendo.

David de Gea has made his plans for the rest of his career clear, stating in no uncertain terms that he wishes to remain a Manchester United player well beyond the completion of his current contract.

The Spanish international with 45 senior caps has racked up an incredible 487 total club appearances for United in the past 11 seasons, and he will move into the club's top-10 in games played if he makes 24 starts in the upcoming season.

If he sticks around for a couple more years he can make a big impression on that all-time list, sitting only 72 games behind Wayne Rooney in sixth place.

Speaking to the media during his side's pre-season exhibition tour in Australia, De Gea called United "one of the best things in my life".

"I would be really happy to be here for as long as [the club] wants," he said. "I didn't talk with anyone yet, but I want to be here for more years.

"I feel very good here. It's a privilege and an honour to be here in this club. It's one of the best things in my life, to be a part of this club."

He went on to discuss the struggles of last season, and his excitement to get back out there with new manager Erik ten Hag in charge.

"It was a very tough season, embarrassing sometimes," he said. "Some games were a mess, a disaster.

"So we should learn from last season that it cannot happen again. Losing 4-0 or 5-0, it was unacceptable. We needed a better culture of football, of just thinking about football, nothing else. 

"With a new manager, we are in a good way. He is very focused on football and what we need, and the players feel the same."

The 31-year-old has one year remaining on his £375,000 per week deal, with an option of a one-year extension that seemingly will be utilised if it is his choice.

Thomas Tuchel does not intend to give in to Cesar Azpilicueta's demand for a cut-price exit to Barcelona. 

Azpilicueta has reportedly asked to leave Stamford Bridge for Barca, who have already signed Andreas Christensen after his Blues contract expired.

It has been suggested that a £55million move for Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde could pave the way for the Spaniard to leave for Camp Nou. 

However, Tuchel is standing firm and does not want to let Azpilicueta leave on the cheap, saying he was "maybe a little bit" annoyed by Barca's pursuit of the player. 

"It's a tough question because I'm not sure if I want to give Azpi what he wants," said Tuchel, as quoted by Standard Sport. 

"At some point it is about what we want. I just made the comparison about how much we fought for [Kalidou] Koulibaly, who is a national team player and roughly the same age. 

"He is a hugely important player for Napoli but we have a Spanish international who is the captain at Chelsea. I see him maybe at the same level, but Barcelona don't see him on that level. So I am not sure if I want to give him what he wants as he is a huge player. 

"We don't think so much about other clubs. The focus is on us and what we need. I said that to him and I say it to you that I understand on a personal and a career level. But I am not only in this role to give him what he wants. I am a manager for Chelsea who wants to do what's best for Chelsea. 

"He doesn't like it but he understands. It is tough for him because the other club is permanently on him. On September 1 when things calm down, then he can play on his highest level." 

Tuchel poured cold water on reports that striker Timo Werner is keen to return to Germany after failing to make an impact following his arrival from RB Leipzig in 2020. 

"I don't think so, so I don't know about it. Timo has not talked to me about it," said Tuchel. 

"At the moment I think he wants to make his way at Chelsea. He still has to prove a point." 

Oleksandr Zincheko has labelled Mikel Arteta as "the most important role" in his decision to join Arsenal from Manchester City.

The versatile left-back, who regularly plays in midfield when captaining Ukraine, travelled to meet up with the Gunners on their pre-season tour of the United States earlier in the week.

Zinchenko was present as Arsenal defeated Orlando City 3-1 on Wednesday, before his move to the Gunners became official on Friday.

The 25-year-old is thought to have signed a contract at the Emirates Stadium until the end of the 2025-26 season, with Arsenal reportedly paying an initial £30million, and £2m in potential add-ons.

Zinchenko worked with Arteta during the Spaniard's time at City as an assistant coach to Pep Guardiola, and says the former Arsenal and Everton midfielder was a big draw to moving to north London.

"I would say it's the most important role in my decision because I've known [Mikel] for a while, I used to work with him at Manchester City," Zinchenko told Arsenal's official website.

"The way we were working together, I was so impressed because I remember how many times we were working hard in the training sessions and then straight after with individual stuff and I took a lot from the manager and I hope I can take even more.

"Since the first day at City I knew that he's going to be a very good manager. The way he can see football, especially I was watching the last season of Arsenal's games and I was really enjoying it.

"You can see in the style, the picture of the game, so I would love to see it [while] playing and being involved."

Zinchenko leaves City as a four-time Premier League champion, insisting he is eager for another test.

"I'm ready for another challenge. I'm not here just to waste my time and the time of Arsenal because the club is always in front of everyone," he added. 

"I am here to achieve big things and I hope we can win some titles, and I hope we are going to fight for every title in which we are going to be involved.

"Even from the last season, I was watching Arsenal's games and I could smell it's coming, you know? The team is growing up so quickly and I think it's time. It's time to do our best and to achieve something big."

It remains to be seen whether Zinchenko will be utilised in defence or further forward, though the Ukraine international will hope to emulate one of his childhood heroes Cesc Fabregas by playing in midfield.

"This is a boyhood dream come true, because I was a massive fan when I was a kid," he continued.

"Since Thierry Henry and young Cesc Fabregas was playing here, I was just enjoying watching those games, that Arsenal. And obviously I started to love this club, so I am so excited and I cannot wait to play for this amazing club."

David de Gea has taken pride in winning individual trophies at Manchester United but hopes he never collects another personal accolade because it will mean the Red Devils have failed again.

Jose Mourinho became increasingly frustrated during his time at Old Trafford as goalkeeper De Gea won the Player of the Year award for United, amounting to failure from his outfield stars in the Portuguese's eyes.

The Spain international may have felt hard done by to not win another of those awards last season, with Cristiano Ronaldo pipping him to the honour after scoring 24 goals across all competitions.

De Gea made 128 saves in the 2021-22 Premier League, the third most in the English top flight, as United limped to a sixth-place finish and their lowest points tally in the competition's history.

New manager Erik ten Hag has made a promising start to his tenure with United, though, with the Red Devils winning three pre-season friendlies, including a 4-0 thrashing of Liverpool in Bangkok. They face Aston Villa on Saturday as the season build-up continues.

De Gea has been a vocal critic during United's downfall in recent years, and has insisted he no longer wants to win individual awards as that would represent more failure.

"It's good for me individually, of course, I love to win trophies, but I totally agree with what [Mourinho] said," said De Gea, who has won the Player of the Year award at United on four occasions.

"It must be a striker, a midfielder [who wins that award], that's what needs to happen, but this season it's going to be another player or striker, for sure."

Ten Hag has begun his sizeable rebuilding task with the Premier League side by bringing in Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen, while striking a deal for Lisandro Martinez.

Jadon Sancho, Luke Shaw and Bruno Fernandes have spoken approvingly of Ten Hag, and De Gea hopes the Dutchman will help United respond to an abject campaign last season.

"For me, for everyone, it was a very tough season, embarrassing sometimes," De Gea said, quoted in several British newspapers. "Some games were a mess, a disaster.

"So we should learn from last season that cannot happen again because it was tough, it was painful to be there – not capable to win games, losing games 4-0 or 5-0. It was unacceptable.

"Sometimes you have to feel pain to go up and keep going."

A notable feature of United's early pre-season games has been Ten Hag's insistence for his side to build from the back and play possession-based football.

For this to be successful, as seen with Ederson at Manchester City, De Gea as a goalkeeper must be confident with the ball at his feet, and the 31-year-old backs his own abilities.

"I think I showed it already," he said. "If you watch my games with the national team or when we played with Sir Alex Ferguson at the beginning, you could see it.

"I don't need to show anyone. I've been playing for many years. I will try my best. I'm going to stay quiet, calm and try to show that to the team and play out from the back.

"Obviously with different managers you have to adapt to the way they want you to play, but I used to play like this in the national team for many years so I'm comfortable with it."

Oleksandr Zinchenko has completed his transfer from Manchester City to Arsenal, with the Ukraine international signing a long-term deal at Emirates Stadium.

The versatile 25-year-old follows former City team-mate Gabriel Jesus in making the move from Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions to join former City assistant boss Mikel Arteta in north London.

Zinchenko's arrival is the latest major piece of business for Arsenal, as the club look to find the missing pieces of the puzzle following a resurgent 2021-22 campaign. He is thought to have signed up until the end of the 2025-26 season, with Arsenal reportedly paying an initial £30million, and £2million in potential add-ons.

The Gunners fell painfully short of a top-four finish and Champions League football last season, as Tottenham pipped them at the post, and they are making efforts to bolster prospects of an improved new campaign.

In Zinchenko, they have acquired a player who will provide strong options at left-back – his regular position for City – or in the midfield for manager Arteta.

Arteta said: "We're so happy Alex has joined us. He's a player that I personally know really well and continued to follow him after my time at Manchester City.

"Alex is a high-quality player who will give us options and versatility. It's not only about the positions he can play but as well, the versatility he will give us in attack and defence.

"Alex is a person with great human qualities and character, and I'm delighted that everyone has made this huge effort to bring Alex to the club."

Zinchenko closes his time in Manchester as a four-time Premier League champion.

City are hoping Zinchenko's replacement will be Brighton and Hove Albion left-back Marc Cucurella, with the Spain international having emerged as a key target for Guardiola.

Two major close-season targets – former Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and ex-Leeds United defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillips – joined City earlier in the window.

Former Liverpool owner and chairman David Moores has died at the age of 76.

Liverpool released a statement on Friday saying the Premier League club is "deeply saddened" over the passing of Moores on Friday, just a few weeks after the death of his wife, Marge.

Moores served as chairman of the Merseyside club for 16 years from 1991, which is when he completed a takeover at Anfield.

He became honorary life president after selling his majority stake in the Reds in 2007. 

The Moores family held a majority stake in Liverpool for over a half a century.

Liverpool won 10 major trophies during his tenure, the highlight being an incredible Champions League triumph in 2005.

The club said in a statement: "The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool FC are with David's family and friends at this difficult time."

Jadon Sancho hailed the early work of Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, saying the Dutchman has made the same players feel like a "whole different team".

Ten Hag has a sizeable rebuilding task at Old Trafford following the unsuccessful interim spell of Ralf Rangnick, whose mid-season appointment to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer failed last campaign.

United finished sixth in the 2021-22 Premier League campaign after recording their lowest points tally, while failing to end a league campaign with a positive goal difference for the first time since the 1989-90 season.

The former Ajax coach has brought in Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen, while striking an agreement for Lisandro Martinez and reportedly holding negotiations with Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong.

United have also impressed in their pre-season friendlies, defeating Liverpool, Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace, and Sancho was quick to credit Ten Hag's early influence.

"He's told all the boys that every friendly is a must-win game," the winger said to United's official website.

"I can already tell from his mindset that he wants us to do well and, when the players hear that from a manager, you all take that in and we all want to give our best, especially out on the pitch.

"That's been a real confidence boost. We've been having lots of meetings with the manager and understanding how he wants us to play and there's definitely been a big sign of everyone taking that on board and us producing what he wants to happen.

"This pre-season, we have the same players but it just looks like a whole different team and I do think that's something we're working on and I feel like we're getting better.

"The manager is big on team-bonding and having fun together and doing things like team dinners and things like that. So, yeah, it's helping.

"You can see in the games, as I said before, with how we're playing and there being a lot more structure and opportunities to score, and we're keeping the ball more too and being effective [with it]."

Sancho arrived from Borussia Dortmund last season as the only player from Europe's top five leagues to have scored 10 goals or more and at least 15 assists across all competitions in each of the previous three seasons.

But the England international struggled in his debut season in Manchester, scoring just three times in 29 Premier League appearances and he is keen to make amends in the upcoming term.

"Last year wasn't great and I feel like everyone has something to prove for this upcoming season," he added.

"It's my second year now, settling into the team, knowing how players play and I'm excited for the upcoming season, with a new manager and how he wants us to play, and I think it will be good for myself.

"We don't want to put performances in like we did last year and upset the fans. Some fans travelled for a long time to get to the stadium and watch us not perform.

"I'm sure, this year, everyone is going to make up for that and make sure every game we play we put 100 per cent in and make sure the fans are smiling at the end of the game."

Jesse Marsch is hopeful Luis Sinisterra will not be out for too long after sustaining a hamstring injury against Crystal Palace.

Leeds United completed a deal reportedly worth £21.3million (€25m) for former Feyenoord star Sinisterra earlier this month, in preparation for fellow winger Raphinha joining LaLiga giants Barcelona.

Having also lost key midfielder Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City, Leeds have been busy in the transfer market ahead of Marsch's first full season at Elland Road, making six additions to their first-team squad.

Marsch would have feared the worst when Sinisterra pulled up off the ball after just 11 minutes of Friday's match, in which Leeds drew 1-1 with Palace in Perth, but is now confident the winger's injury is not serious.

"Luis had a little hamstring injury," the American said. "We're hopeful it's not too long, too severe. 

"Any time we have a hamstring injury I'm totally dissatisfied because I think it's reflective of everything we do physically. Adam [Forshaw] tweaked his knee. We're hopeful as well that one's not so bad."

Leeds start their 2022-23 Premier League campaign at home to Wolves on August 6.

Bruno Fernandes insists Cristiano Ronaldo was not the reason Manchester United struggled last season, while he expects the "strict" Erik ten Hag to deliver success at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo has reportedly asked to leave United, less than a year after returning to the club, and is yet to report for training with Ten Hag's squad after missing three pre-season friendlies due to family reasons.

Fernandes claimed earlier in the week that he had no knowledge of Ronaldo's future intentions but called for respect for whatever his Portugal compatriot decides to do.

Ten Hag has already made it clear that Ronaldo remains an integral part of his plans after the 37-year-old top-scored with 24 goals in all competitions for United last term.

As United prepare to face Aston Villa in their next pre-season friendly on Saturday, Fernandes again leapt to the defence of the forward, refusing to blame him for the Red Devils' issues last term.

Asked whether Ronaldo's presence caused a change in style and problems for United, Fernandes told Sky Sports: "No I don't think so.

"I am there to serve my strikers and I think we had an amazing start to the season. When Cristiano came in he scored two goals in his first game and I scored one and after that, I scored many goals playing with Cristiano.

"I think all of my goals I was playing alongside Cristiano, so I don't think that was the problem at all.

"I play with him for Portugal and that will never be the problem because good players can fit together at any time at any point."

Whether Ten Hag has Ronaldo to call upon in the upcoming campaign or not, Fernandes lauded the former Ajax coach's training methods as the Dutchman attempts to implement a new style of play at United.

"Nobody can get away with anything with him and the senior players have to play their part too, making sure that everyone is on the same page," he added.

"Everyone knows they have to be pushing to the same side and if not, they will be out of the team. That's a good thing because if you want to be successful as a team you have to be always in the same way.

"He's strict, he's tough, but at the same time, he's a nice and easy guy to chat to. 

"The main thing is following what he wants because I think he has a straight line that he wants to have with the team and I want to follow that straight line because I think we can be successful that way.

"I think everyone will be happy at the end of the season if we can do everything he wants us to do."

Fernandes netted 28 times for United in all competitions in the 2020-21 season, the best return by a midfielder for a Premier League club in a single campaign, surpassing Frank Lampard's 27 for Chelsea in 2009-10.

The Portugal international failed to follow that up in the next campaign, managing 10 goals across all competitions, and Fernandes wants to prove his worth after signing a new five-year contract in March.

"Last season, as a team it was not successful so individually it's difficult to be successful," he added.

"I was trying in the same way to improve the team, but obviously, it was a difficult season for everyone and was tough to be successful individually because the results were not there.

"I know everyone is expecting so much from me because my first season was amazing and last season I only scored 10 goals and 14 assists. I know I can do much better than that.

"So for me, it's about following the rules [Ten Hag] wants, following his demands and my game will come naturally. The main thing for me is that the team is successful."

Andy Robertson insists Liverpool had no concerns over Darwin Nunez after the Uruguayan hit four goals in a pre-season thrashing of RB Leipzig, as he urged fans to be patient with the Reds' new striker.

Jurgen Klopp defended Darwin from criticism after he failed to score in Liverpool's first two pre-season outings, but the new recruit put in a terrific performance against the Bundesliga outfit.

The former Benfica striker scored four times after coming on as a half-time substitute in a 5-0 win in Germany, including a hat-trick within 20 minutes of entering the action.

Speaking to the club's website after that victory, Robertson urged patience as the €75million arrival settles in on Merseyside. 

"It always takes time to get used to new signings. We've all been through it ourselves, so it's no different," the left-back said.

"Maybe there's outside pressure on him in terms of the fee and everything like that, but to us it doesn't matter. People have come in on small fees, big fees, it doesn't matter. 

"We know they have to take time to get used to our system, get used to our style of play, to get used to how we want them to play and things like that.

"He's adapting, he's getting fitter, he's getting stronger – like all of us are in pre-season – and he needs time to adapt. Today will do him a world of good. Today will give him a lot of confidence in terms of in front of goal and everything, which is obviously so important for a striker. 

"So, [we're] delighted about that and we don't have any worries about him. It's just about having a bit of time with him, having a bit of patience, and we've got that and hopefully the Liverpool fans have it as well."

Meanwhile, Liverpool's latest pre-season outing came on the fifth anniversary of Robertson joining in an £8million move from Hull City.

Robertson has made 161 Premier League appearances for Liverpool since joining, a tally only bettered by Mohamed Salah (180), Sadio Mane (169) and Roberto Firmino (165) in that time, while only Salah (46) has bettered his tally of 45 league assists since July 2017.

Looking back on his five years at Anfield, the Scotland international expressed pride at following in the footsteps of compatriots such as Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen and Graeme Souness in winning silverware at Liverpool, as he targeted bringing up a decade with the club.

"On that day it was a huge honour for me to sign for the club," he recalled. "A lot of people said that the club don't really win stuff without Scottish players, so obviously when I signed then I wanted to achieve it. 

"We've obviously got a long history of Scottish players playing for this club, legends in their own right, and the fact I can be a part of this club, it meant a lot that day and it still means a lot now. So, hopefully many more years to come.

"Five years have flown by. It felt like yesterday that I was signing and it's crazy that that time has passed. I'm a wee bit older, a wee bit wiser now, certainly look a bit older now than the day I signed! 

"It's amazing playing for this club, I don't want it to end, I want it to continue for as many years as I can. But five years is incredible but now I look to the next five. I'm always one to look forward and hopefully we can achieve a lot more things."

Brentford have secured the services of Ben Mee on a two-year deal after the defender left Burnley at the end of his contract.

The centre-back played over 300 times for the Clarets, joining in 2011 on an initial one-year loan before signing a permanent deal at the end of that season.

He won promotion to the Premier League at Turf Moor twice, in 2014 and 2016.

Burnley endured a torrid 2021-22 season though, with long-term manager Sean Dyche losing his job in April with his team four points from safety.

Mee, who had suffered a season-ending calf injury, joined the temporary coaching staff until the end of the season, but they were unable to save themselves from relegation afnd a 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United on the last day sent them down to the Championship.

The 32-year-old now joins Brentford, who themselves looked threatened by relegation until a late-season charge sparked by the arrival of Christian Eriksen led them to a 13th-placed finish in their first top-flight season in 74 years.

It has been a busy transfer window for Brentford, who have broken their own record transfer fee twice with the signings of full-back Aaron Hickey from Bologna and winger Keane Lewis-Potter from Hull City.

Mee adds plenty of experience to Brentford's backline. He ranked third in blocks (21) and second in clearances (92) for Burnley in the league last season, while also winning the third most aerial duels (68).

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank said: "I am very happy that we have signed Ben. He will add a lot of quality and experience to the squad. 

"I really love his defensive mindset; he knows how to defend the box, he knows how to block a shot and he knows how to win duels.

"He will bring leadership and communication to the team, which is very attractive. I am looking forward to adding him to the squad."

Nemanja Matic wasted little time in deciding to join Roma and work with Jose Mourinho, explaining the Giallorossi coach "convinced me in less than five minutes".

The Serbia international will play under the stewardship of Mourinho for a third time in his career, having already featured for the Portuguese at Chelsea and Manchester United.

Mourinho first signed the midfielder for Chelsea from Benfica in 2014 in a deal worth £40million ($50m), winning the Premier League in their sole season together.

Matic played at Stamford Bridge for a further two years after Mourinho's departure, before the Portuguese coach re-signed him at United in 2017.

The following year Mourinho was relieved from his duties at Old Trafford, with Matic staying at United until last month, when he reunited with his former coach on a one-year deal in the Eternal City.

Matic has played 118 matches under Mourinho, the 33-year-old's most appearances under a single manager in the Premier League, and could not turn down working with him once more.

"He convinced me in less than five minutes to come to Rome: when I left United he called me and I immediately said yes," Matic told Il Messaggero.

"Mou has something extra that motivates and spurs you. I've never seen him satisfied, when he wins he already thinks about the next day. He is the first to be hungry for victories.

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