We're apparently getting very close to a deal to bring back Nemanja Matic, and the latest rumors surrounding the transaction suggest that the club could be sending a young player or two to Benfica as they did with David Luiz three years ago. While I'm not sure there's any reason to believe this particular part of the report, it did get me thinking about who Benfica might want that Chelsea would be willing to part with. Here are a few thoughts that came to mind:
Kakuta has already been mentioned as someone that Benfica are looking at, and frankly, he makes too much sense to ignore. He was one of the brightest prospects in Europe at one time, but he's been disappointing enough that his future almost certainly lies away from Chelsea. That said, he's got enough raw ability to flourish in a less competitive league, and the Blues would probably be willing to toss him in for nothing other that wage relief.
Markovic isn't a Chelsea player, but it's been widely reported that the deal he signed with Benfica gives the Blues some sort of option to buy, Unfortunately, nobody I'd trust has reported specifics, so how this option works is still murky. Chelsea could easily alter whatever agreement the two sides have in place in order to appease Benfica though, especially given the amount of talent that they have on the wings at the moment.
Delac probably doesn't have much value, but he's another decent upside player that probably won't ever have a shot at Chelsea. Taking a flier on the young keeper probably wouldn't be the worst idea in the world from Benfica's standpoint.
I'd deem this one to be a longshot at best, but the Spaniard would help fill the void created by the departing Matic in the midfield.
Probably even less likely than Romeu, it's still possible that Chelsea have soured on the player enough to consider parting ways with him in the right deal.
Like Delac, Lalkovic has had a short spell in Portugal already. He probably has no chance of ever contributing to the first team at Chelsea, and if Benfica wanted the player, I can't imagine Chelsea would let that stop a deal from happening.
I'd be a little surprised if the Blues were willing to let Perica join Benfica right now, as they just acquired the player this past summer. He's the sort of raw, physically talented player that Benfica have loved in the past though, and I could see the Croatian being someone the Portuguese club would ask for.
Davila showed bags of promise as a teenager, but hasn't looked like he'll ever become Premier League quality since arriving two and a half years ago. As a throw-in to a deal for Matic though, he could be one that Benfica found interesting.
I'd be very surprised if Chelsea were willing to include Atsu in a deal with the way he's been playing this season, but we've heard that the clubs were talking about Matic over the summer before Chelsea's interest in the Ghanaian appeared out of nowhere. If Benfica were targeting Atsu this summer, there is just no chance that Porto would have sold directly to their rivals.