The first deal of a potentially frenetic transfer window for Chelsea could be on the cusp of completion, as the club refuse to let the cash they receive for Belgian flop Kevin De Bruyne collect much dust.
The flame-haired midfielder is set to call it quits at Stamford Bridge in an £18m switch to Wolfsburg and Jose Mourinho looks set to reinvest much of that cash into a former Chelsea player.
Nemanja Matic left Chelsea for Benfica as part of the deal that saw David Luiz join the Blues in 2011 but, after a stupendous season in Portugal, is now wanted back in London.
The 25-year-old centre midfielder has been capped nine times by Serbia but barely featured in the Chelsea first team after signing from the Slovak club MFK Kosice for just £1.5m in 2009.
He left two years later having made just two senior appearances but has blossomed since signing for the The Eagles, with his value sky rocketing into the multi-million pound bracket.
In fact, Matic has become such hot-property that the Blues are willing to publicly admit the mistake they made in letting him go by forking out £21m to bring the player back home.
The central-band is certainly an area where Chelsea, who are 12/1 to win a League and FA Cup double, need reinforcing as Frank Lampard, Ramires and John Obi-Mikel form the crux of the club’s midfield.
An injury to one of those three would leave Mourinho extremely short of options. Only the under-used Michael Essien is available as a natural backup, while using Luiz out of position is a less-fancied alternative.
Matic, who won the Primeira’s Player of the Year award last season, would therefore provide some welcome options in the middle of the park, with his ability to pass the ball a strength the west London club lack in their deeper lying midfield players.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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