Serb’s arrival is set to finally bring an end to Jose Mourinho’s long-running search for a defensive midfielder.
Chelsea have agreed a deal to re-sign Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic for £20.7m, subject to the Serb passing a medical at the west London club’s Cobham training ground on Tuesday, according to reports on Goal.com.
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The holding midfielder first arrived at Stamford Bridge in August 2009 from MFK Kosice on a four-year deal for a fee of just £1.5m, before then leaving the Blues for the Portuguese capital in January 20011 as part of the big-money deal that saw Brazil international David Luiz move in the opposite direction.
Matic was valued at £3m at the time of that transfer, however, after a string of eye-catching displays for the Portuguese giants in the intervening three years, the 25-year-old’s value has now rocketed upwards.
Chelsea are expected to pay Benfica an initial fee of £18m for the player, which could then ultimately rise to as much as £21.7m depending on certain add ons, with Matic telling Portuguese newspaper A Bola after Sunday’s win over Porto: “Yes, it was my last game. I want to thank all the people at the club and all the supporters. Benfica will be forever in my heart. I played here two and a half years, I gave my best in every practice, every game, and now is the right time to leave.
“I want to improve, I want to go to a better league and want to go to Chelsea, the club which I also like.
“I have always given my best for the team, the club and the supporters. I hope you recognize that and understand my position and my desire.”
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