Benfica and Nemanja Matic are two things that will just not go away this summer. Or should we say Benfica and Serbian footballers? Enjoy the Lisbon life, Laser Sharkovic (sad smiley face).
A few days ago, Sky Italy (via the Tancredi Megaphone) linked the Blues with their ex-prospect and now we have some words in Portuguese saying similar things. More concrete things in fact:
Mas a vertente desportiva, ao que tudo indica, vai superar a política. Porque dinheiro não parece ser problema para Abramovich (nunca o foi, antes uma questão de princípio); e porque Mourinho deseja, e muito, contar com o (ainda) benfiquista.
Ao que A BOLA apurou, os contactos já estão adiantados e os londrinos mostraram disponibilidade para ir ao encontro das exigências de Luís Filipe Vieira, que só estará disposto a abdicar de Nemanja Matic, por, pelo menos, €40 milhões, apesar de a cláusula do número 21 ser de €50 milhões.
-Source: A Bola
The automatic translation for all that is a bit ... messy (even though Google pays their taxes, I'm sure), but essentially it says that Abramovich is willing to open up the checkbook for Matic as the benefits of acquiring his talents would far outweigh the slight embarrassment of having to re-acquire someone who we once let go.
While the prospect of acquiring Matic is not entirely unreasonable - he has grown up to become an excellent player, by all accounts, and it is an area of need at Chelsea - the price quoted is outrageous. Not nearly as outrageous as his buyout clause but very close. Incidentally, A Bola is claiming €50m as the buyout clause, which is more than the €45m we've seen reported before everywhere else.
Just last summer, Benfica cashed in to the tune of €40m on Axel Witsel. A few days earlier, Javi Martinez also changed hands for €40m, which was a new transfer record for defensive midfielder. Is Nemanja Matic really worth that much, when we could easily argue that he's not even worth €30m?
Stay silly, silly season.