Manchester United are in talks with Nemanja Matic over a new longer-term contract after activating a one-year extension to his deal.

Stats Perform understands the Red Devils have exercised the option to extend the midfielder’s existing contract, which was due to expire at the end of this season.

Discussions have also begun over a fresh deal that could keep Matic at Old Trafford beyond the end of 2020-21.

The news reflects Matic’s growing importance to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans just months after the 31-year-old admitted he was considering his future last year.

The Serbia international, signed from Chelsea in 2018 for a reported fee of £40million, made only three Premier League starts before the start of 2020.

Speaking to Stats Perform about his plans in December, he said: “To be honest, I don’t know yet what I’m going to do.

“I spoke with the club, I said that until my last day at the club I will do my best and be professional.

“In football, you never know what’s going to happen. My family is happy here, I’m happy, so we will see what the next step is, if I will leave or stay, but whatever we decide I’m sure that we will decide for the best.”

However, injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay saw Matic establish himself as first-choice midfield partner for the in-form Fred, and he has only missed three matches in all competitions since the turn of the year.

His form has helped United enjoy a run of 11 games unbeaten across European and domestic matches and he was one of the standout performers in the 2-0 Premier League win over Manchester City on March 8.

In January, Matic admitted there was plenty of interest from other clubs as he entered the final six months of his deal, but he made it clear his preference was to stay at United.

“I can’t tell who is asking for me but for sure, when you play at Manchester United, many clubs are looking to sign you,” he said to reporters. “That’s not only me, it’s for every player – especially when you’re out of contract.

“My first option is Manchester United, but if they decide something else then there are always solutions.”

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