Nemanja Matic accuses two ex-Man Utd teammates of lacking professionalism

  • Nemanja Matic has hinted at problems with the culture at Man Utd
  • Veteran midfielder claims Chelsea player acted more professionally
  • Paul Pogba & Jadon Sancho namedropped for persistent lateness
Nemanja Matic has thrown the alleged culture at Man Utd under the bus
Nemanja Matic has thrown the alleged culture at Man Utd under the bus / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Nemanja Matic has suggested a lack of professionalism was a problem during his time at Manchester United, with a handful of players routinely late for training.

The midfielder, who spent five seasons at Old Trafford under three different managers between 2017 and 2022, name-dropped Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho in particular. The latter is still a United player but has been banished from the first-team by current boss Erik ten Hag, who arrived after Matic left.

Additionally comparing the culture at United to what he had experienced at Chelsea, Matic explained that it was a huge source of frustration to those players were did show up on time.

"At Chelsea, players acted professionally, they were punctual and were never late for training but at United it happened almost every day," the 35-year-old, now at Rennes, told YuPlanet.

"Among the players who would always be late were Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho and a couple of others. The rest of us who were always on time were angry so we decided to form a kind of internal disciplinary committee with me as its president.

"I put a sheet of paper up on the wall where I documented the names of individuals arriving late. During one particular season we collected around £75,000 in fines."

Jadon Sancho
Jadon Sancho has been banished from Man Utd's first-team / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Pogba left United in 2022 when his contract expired, but his attitude and application during six years back at the club had long been questioned by fans and the media. Sancho fell foul of Ten Hag in September when he hit out at the boss on social media for publicly suggesting training performances hadn't been good enough. With the £73m winger refusing to apologise, the situation is at an impasse.

Several clubs have shown interest in Sancho but the player is unconvinced by the prospect of moving to the Saudi Pro League and his representatives are keen for their side, not United, to choose his next club. The preference is a return to Borussia Dortmund but the finances would make it complicated.

United are open to a loan deal of up to 18 months to help resolve the issue. And while there is also interest from teams in Turkey, Sancho is keen to remain in one of Europe's top five leagues.