Home » Latest, Transfers » Chelsea will spend £25m to bring a player back they let go

Chelsea have made a £25m move to bring Benfica’s Nemanja Matic back to Stamford Bridge.

The midfielder first joined Chelsea in 2009 but made just two appearances before leaving for Portugal in 2011 as part of the deal that saw David Luiz arrive at Stamford Bridge.

However, manager Jose Mourinho now sees Matic as the man to install in a defensive midfield role.

Sportsmail revealed Chelsea’s renewed interest last month and that Mourinho’s assistant Jose Marais was due to watch the 26-year-old in Sunday’s game against Porto.

Portuguese media reported prior to the game that Matic had refused to join up with the team but he played in a 2-0 win, getting booked, with goals coming from Ezequiel Garay and Rodrigo Machado.

Benfica may yet hold out for more from Chelsea but have a good relationship with the London club and a deal is likely to be struck.

Chelsea hope to utilise the funds brought in from Kevin de Bruyne’s expected sale to Wolfsburg.

Mourinho is keen to bring in a defensive midfielder as the Blues boss is unwilling to play centre-back Luiz in that role and summer signing Marco van Ginkel is out for the season with a knee ligament injury.

Strengthening in that area is the Portuguese’s top priority as the Blues look to win their first Premier League title since 2010.

Matic’s arrival would allow Mourinho to develop his plan to give Eden Hazard more of a free role.

It worked in the 2-0 victory over Hull on Saturday and Mourinho said of his Belgium attacking midfielder: ‘I call him “kid”, because that’s what he is, but he is going from a talented player to a really top player,’ said the Chelsea manager. ‘There is a difference, and the good thing is he is an easy boy to coach. What I do is try to make the game adapted to him.

‘Sometimes I play him on the right, sometimes on the left and sometimes as a 10 behind the striker. When I do this, I try to find the best situation for him to succeed in that match.’

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