Schalke have wasted no time in securing Matija Nastasic on a permanent deal, following the defender’s impressive form since January.
The Serbian international joined the German side on loan in the New Year, having falling out of favour at Manchester City under Manuel Pellegrini. The Chilean coach signed Martin Demichelis to bolster his defensive options in the summer of 2013, and then after landing the Premier League title in his debut season he spent £31.8million to take Eliaquim Mangala from FC Porto.
All this restricted Nastasic to just one appearance in the first half of the current season, and that came in the FA Community Shield defeat to Arsenal back in August. Schalke took him on loan in January with the view to a permanent deal, and the Bundesliga side have now confirmed they have taken advantage of this clause by securing the 21-year-old on a contract which runs until 2019.
“I am proud and happy that I remain at Schalke,” the 6ft 2in tall Nastasic, who arrived at the Etihad Stadium from Fiorentina in a €15million deal during the summer transfer window of 2012, told the club’s official website. “The team did very well taking me from day one, I was immediately a part of the team. In the future I would like to help us to achieve our goals as a team.”
Nastasic enjoyed a hugely impressive debut season in England, when he played 21 times in the Premier League and was named as City’s Young Player of the Year. However, it soon became apparent that he was not wanted by Pellegrini, so his exit has come as no surprise. Since joining Schalke he has rediscovered his best form, playing every minute in the Bundesliga since his arrival.