Lazar Markovic looks set for Benfica move

At least I'm not going to have to use this picture all the time now - Getty Images

So much for Lazar Markovic joining Chelsea anytime soon. There's always been an odd disparity between what the English and Portuguese media were saying about the Partizan Belgrade forward, and it looks like the latter are going to win this battle: A Bola is reporting that Markovic is currently in Lisbon to take a medical.

Apparently, Markovic is set to sign a five-year deal with the Portuguese giants/perennial European losers, and although some have portrayed this as a step towards an eventual move to Chelsea, it's going to result in a very pricey transfer if he develops with Benfica. And if he doesn't, he's not going anywhere.

My guess is that Chelsea were going to pull the old 'you're going on loan for a couple of years' trick, which is entirely sensible given Markovic's current ability and the talent we have stockpiled in his position. If playing time for his parent club is important, Benfica are a better club for Markovic than the Blues, and he's made the right decision.

That's speculation, of course -- maybe Chelsea decided they didn't want him after all, or Benfica offered more money to Partizan -- but it makes sense enough. Regardless, Markovic, despite rumours that he'd signed with us back in January, doesn't look like he's coming our way for now. Expect plenty of transfer rumours in summer 2015 though!

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