Serbian central defender Matija Nastasic is believed to have activated a clause in his loan move from Manchester City to German side FC Schalke 04 that means the youngster will sign permanently for the Royal Blues after playing seven times for the side, reports Goal.com.
The 21-year-old found playing time under City manager Manuel Pellegrini difficult to come by, but has been rejuvenated since linking up with Schalke boss Roberto Di Matteo and made his seventh start by playing against Borussia Dortmund on February 29.
Nastasic has made it clear that he would be “very happy” to remain in Germany and the young defender’s tough tackling and composure on the ball are quickly making the player a fan’s favourite, as he was during his time in Manchester.
The Seventh Match
The Revierderby marked the seventh appearance for Nastasic in the colours of FC Schalke 04, whilst his side suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of rivals Borussia Dortmund, it could have been worse had Nastasic not made a goal line clearance and frustrated the likes of Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for much of the game.
The fee for the defender is rumoured to be around €9.5million (£6.9m) which would represent a loss for Manchester City who paid Serie A side Fiorentina €15million plus Stefan Savic for his services.
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It is believed that Nastasic will put pen to paper on a deal to stay with Die Konigsblauen in the coming weeks which will tie the defender to the club until the summer of 2019.
Highs and Lows for Nastasic at Man City
The young Serbian’s first season in England was very impressive as he kept Joleon Lescott out of the side and picked up the club’s Young Player of the Season award, though the team would come off second best in the title race that year.
Finishing as runners up in the Premier League in 2012/13 wasn’t enough to keep Roberto Mancini in the Etihad hot seat and the Italian was replaced with former Malaga and Real Madrid boss Manuel Pellegrini.
Injuries took their toll on Nastasic throughout 2013/14 season, with the defender making just 13 league appearances, as Manchester City won the Premier League title.
Hunting for Game Time
With Pellegrini preferring the experience of Martin Demichelis and summer arrival Eliaquim Mangala as partners to club captain Vincent Kompany, Nastasic spent the first few months of the campaign on the sidelines at City before his loan move to the Veltins-Arena.
At just 21 it would seem Schalke have got themselves a bargain signing one of most highly rated young defenders in football, who is likely to go from strength to strength. Will Manchester city regret letting Nastasic go, only time can tell, but he has been welcomed with open arms in Gelsenkirchen as Di Matteo looks to build a team around his star central defender.