Chelsea are leading the race to re-sign former midfielder Nemanja Matic after Benfica boss Jorge Jesus conceded it would be impossible for the club to keep hold of the player. 

The Serbian starlet has shone in Portuguese football since his transfer from Chelsea in January 2011. The 24-year-old midfielder has made 49 appearances since the move, scoring four goals. And because of his on-going development and progress, Benfica offered Matic a contract extension in January 2013. Matic signed the deal, that would see him stay in Portugal until 2018, with a buy-out clause set at £42m. 

Chelsea have been intensely linked with Matic all summer, but they are not alone in the pursuit of the Serbian playmaker. He is coveted by some of the biggest clubs in the world, with Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid and Laurent Blanc's PSG also known to be interested in signing the midfield ace. 

Although Benfica want to keep Matic at the club next season, manager Jorge Jesus has admitted that he expects Matic to leave following the on-going interest being shown in him this summer. 

Speaking to O Jogo, Jesus said: "I wish he does not leave, but this is almost impossible given the clubs that are following. Of course the possible sale of him worries me, it is not easy to replace a player with that sort of quality."

And Jesus also admitted that it is his club Benfica that have made him the world-class player he is today. 

"He was a third, fourth or fifth choice for Chelsea that was sent to Vitesse on loan," Jesus added. "But we though he had potential and had him working for two years. Now he is the player who is coveted by some of the best teams in Europe."


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