Chelsea are understood to want Nemanja Matic to return to Stamford Bridge, but it would cost them as much as £37million to land the player.
The Serbia international, who has nine caps for his country, initially linked up with the Premier League giants in the summer of 2009, when Carlo Ancelotti paid around £1.5million to take him from Molde. However, the midfielder failed to force his way into the first team picture, although he did make two substitute appearances in 2009/10.
Matic left for Benfica in January 2011, when he was included as part of the deal which saw David Luiz move to Stamford Bridge. Since heading to Portugal the 25-year-old’s progress has been impressive, was last season named Player of the Year, and this term is currently on course to help his side win a first league title since 2010.
All this has caught the attention of Mourinho who, according to The Telegraph, is keen to lure the midfielder back to Chelsea this month. Although the player is a key member of the starting eleven at Estadio de Luz, the report claims he remains interested in succeeding in the Premier League, and would relish a return to the capital.
A bid of £21million is believed to be in the offing to land Matic, but although this would represent a handsome profit on someone valued at £4.15million when they signed him, it is understood that Benfica would hold out for a fee in the region of £37million, which is the figure contained as a buyout clause in his existing contract.
Should Mourinho baulk at this valuation, he could still look elsewhere whilst the window is open. Fredy Guarin, the 27-year-old Colombian international, has also been heavily linked with Chelsea in recent weeks, and is valued at around £14million. However, Internazionale coach Walter Mazzarri has expressed his desire to keep the midfielder.