Benfica have confirmed that midfielder Nemanja Matic has joined Chelsea for €25m.
Portuguese side Benfica have confirmed that midfielder Nemanja Matic has joined Chelsea for €25m (£20.8m) on a five-and-a-half year deal, as reported on the club’s website.
The Blues have targeted the 25-year-old for some time after actually allowing the Serbia international to leave Stamford Bridge in 2011.
Matic was part of the transfer that saw David Luiz come the other way, but since moving to Portugal the player has become recognised as one of best defensive midfielders in world football.
“I am very happy for this opportunity to be back at this club,” the Serb said about the move.
“I feel very good because of that and just want to say I will give my best to help the team and make the Chelsea fans happy.”
The towering midfield ace previously spent two years in west London, but only managed to make three first team appearances during that time.
Yet returning manager Jose Mourinho has been on the search for recruitment in the middle of the park, with question marks over the capability of Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel and Frank Lampard approaching the end of the 35-year-old’s career.
“I am very pleased that Nemanja is returning to Chelsea. He has grown as a player in Portugal and has become a fantastic all-round midfielder,” the boss said about the transfer.
“I am sure he will become a very important member of the squad and help us to achieve our ambitions.”
Matic’s last game for Benfica was a 2-0 win over rivals FC Porto on Sunday and in total played 97 matches for the club in all competitions and also has nine caps for the Serbia national team.
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