Football

Nemanja Matic confirms Chelsea desire

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Benfica midfielder and one-time Manchester United target Nemanja Matic has revealed he's played his last game for the Portuguese club and is on the cusp of a move to Chelsea.

The former-Stamford Bridge star moved to Benfica as part of the David Luiz transfer in 2011, and Matic has gone on to become one of the most sought after defensive midfielders in Europe.

Chelsea and Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move for the Serbian international since the summer, and recent reports have claimed the Blues are on the brink of agreeing a deal with a medical scheduled for Tuesday.

And speaking to Portuguese newspaper A Bola, Matic appears to confirm his intention to re-join Chelsea.

He said: "Yes, it was my last game [Benfica v Porto]. I want to thank all the people at the club and all the supporters.

"Benfica will be forever in my heart. I played here for two and a half years, I gave my best in every practice, every game, and now is the right time to leave.

"I want to improve, I want to go to a better league and I want to go to Chelsea, the club I also like.

"I also thank the president of Benfica, who did everything he could to keep me here but I have wanted to leave and insisted on leaving.

"I respect the effort made to keep me at the club, he and all the people of Benfica have been very good to me, made me happy, but I repeat that I insisted on going."

Reports in the English media claim Matic is set to move to Stamford Bridge - subject to a medical - for a fee in the region of £22m.

It represents quite a good bit of business for Benfica, who took Matic for nothing as part of the David Luiz to Chelsea deal two Januarys ago.

Matic is expected to compete with the likes of John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien for a spot in the heart of the Chelsea midfield.

United boss David Moyes was also thought to be tracking Matic, but he'll now turn to other targets as he looks to strengthen the Old Trafford midfield.

The United midfield has been identified as an area of weakness, with a number of targets under consideration this month - although Moyes has warned he expects to find it difficult to locate available targets before the deadline.

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Topics:
Nemanja Matic
Chelsea
Football

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