Lazar Markovic not set for Stamford Bridge switch despite Partizan president’s claims.
Benfica have beaten Chelsea to the signing of Partizan Belgrade starlet Lazar Markovic, the Portuguese club have announced.
The 19-year-old left winger was reportedly set to join the Blues permanently before being sent on loan to the Primera Liga runners-up for two seasons but Benfica say the forward has signed a five-year deal at the Stadium of Light.
The Serbian is viewed as one of the most promising young talents in Europe, having made his international debut aged just 17.
Markovic has since amassed seven caps for Serbia and boasts 13 goals in 46 league appearances for Partizan.
Chelsea appear to have missed out on Markovic at the eleventh hour, after Partizan president Dragan Djuric claimed on Monday that the player would move to Stamford Bridge before joining Benfica in a two-year loan deal.
“It is true, Chelsea will send Markovic out on a loan for two years,” Djuric told Sky Sports.
“But I really hope that Chelsea and Benfica will not come to agreement, so Markovic will stay with us for at least the next six months.”