Football

Mourinho not in Serbia to scout Markovic, says Mijatovic

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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was not in Serbia to scout Lazar Markovic last week, according to former-Real Madrid player Predrag Mijatovic.

Mijatovic, a close personal friend of Mourinho's, attended the Serbia-Croatia World Cup qualifying match last Friday with several media outlets claiming the Chelsea manager was in the country to scout Markovic.

The Benfica starlet was heavily linked with the Stamford Bridge club before he left Partizan Belgrade for Portugal earlier this summer.

But Mijatovic has revealed Mourinho was not in attendance to run the rule over the 19-year-old attacking midfielder ahead of a potential January bid.

"It's what some media organisations claim but I can assure you he was not in Belgrade to see Markovic," Mijatovic told A Bola.

"Clearly, both in Croatia and in Serbia footballers are highly rated but that some say he [Markovic] is likely to be of interest to Chelsea is premature."

Mijatovic said Markovic remains a talented player with great potential, but urged Benfica fans to give him time to settle after his summer move to Portugal.

As for Mourinho's visit to Serbia, Mijatovic said his Stamford Bridge friend was more than likely just checking up on Serbian national team captain and Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

"He's passionate about football, and after not watching a game in this part of Europe for some time he thought this was a good opportunity to see these teams in action," said the former-Bernabeu midfielder.

"Also, Serbia had Ivanovic, Chelsea player and captain. It was a very attractive game and worth travelling from London to Belgrade."

Chelsea face Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday evening, as they look to continue their unbeaten start to the Premier League season.

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Chelsea
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