After it appeared that Nemanja Matic would be headed for the Old Trafford exit in January, circumstances have dramatically changed for the Serbia midfielder.

Manchester United announced a three-year extension for the 31-year-old Matic, keeping him with the Red Devils through the 2023 season.

"As a player, I still have a lot more to give and achieve in my career and to do that with Manchester United will be a huge honour," Matic said in a statement. "This is a really exciting team to be part of, we have a good balance of youth and experience within the squad."

Matic, who was seeking a transfer for more opportunities elsewhere, has seen a rejuvenation in form and importance with United since the season restarted following a pause due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Now the defensive linchpin in a midfield trio with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, Matic has become a crucial component to the side's 16-game undefeated run.

"Nemanja has been here for three seasons now and really understands the values of playing for Manchester United," manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said. "I know his experience, professionalism and leadership will be invaluable to this young talented group."

A native of Sabac, Matic joined United in the summer of 2018 in a £40 million move from Chelsea.

In three seasons with the Red Devils, Matic has made 114 appearances across all competitions, including 27 this season.

Internationally, Matic has been capped 48 times by the senior squad and was a member of Serbia's team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.