Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has signalled his intent to retire from international football according to Serbian newspaper Informer which effectively could see the mantle passed down to Liverpool’s Marko Grujic.
Matic has reportedly called it a day on his time playing for Serbia, although manager Ljubiša Tumbaković still has hopes that the 32-year-old star could still change his mind.
Serbia are due to begin their play-off qualifying matches for Euro 2021 before the turn of the new year which makes it a pivotal period for the national team.
Matic’s decision reportedly stems from concerns about the Serbian FA and this has in effect made his final decision.
Good news for Grujic
Liverpool midfielder Grujic is reported to be one of the direct beneficiaries of Matic’s announced retirement from international football.
The versatile midfielder has clocked up just eight appearances for Serbia yet Matic’s decision to call it a day on national team football could see a changing of the guard which Grujic can use to his advantage.
Grujic is in a critical period of his development and will hope a sustained run for his national side will give him the confidence to kick-on with his club career.
The 24-year-old recently spent the last two seasons on loan in Germany with Hertha Berlin and is reportedly in talks with a number of European club regarding a permanent move away from Liverpool.
From an individual perspective, this can only help Grujic’s prospects with Serbia as his next destination will put an end to lingering concerns regarding his Liverpool credentials and the player can instead focus on a new challenge.
The Mirror recently reported that Liverpool have no interest in loaning out Grujic for the 2020/21 campaign while The Telegraph claim that the former Red Star Belgrade midfielder is the club’s best route to raise funds for other transfer targets.
Whether Grujic will be a Liverpool player or not next season remains to be seen as Jurgen Klopp will likely make a final decision after the Reds’ Community Shield clash against Arsenal on Saturday.
However, Matic’s retirement is good news for Grujic as even if game time is limited at club level he can use his time with Serbia as an opportunity to regain momentum and match sharpness.
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