Partizan Belgrade president Dragan Djuric has confirmed that Chelsea have ownership of Serbian wonderkid Lazar Markovic, as the midfielder prepares to put pen to paper on a loan move to Benfica.
Sky Sports reports how the 19-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to England after the Europa League champions invited the player to west London earlier this year.
In the meantime, the Serbia international could move to Estadio da Luz on loan, after Markovic touched down in Portugal to undergo a medical with Benfica, following in the footsteps of a number of young Chelsea players, sent out to continue their development abroad with the opportunity to play regular first-team football.
"It is true, Chelsea will send Markovic out on a loan for two years," Djuric told Sportski Zurnal.
"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."
Chelsea have utilised the loan market in recent seasons by sending out the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne, and now appear determined to do the same with Markovic after seeing off a number of rival clubs to secure the Partizan Belgrade star's services.