Markovic sees Benfica as way to Chelsea move

Serbia Partizan Belgrade Graffiti

Lazar Markovic won't be moving to Chelsea this summer, but still hopes to in the near future.

A number of reports back in February claimed that Chelsea had agreed a deal in principle for the signing of Lazar Markovic, but clearly those were jumping the gun.

Chelsea were not willing to meet the asking price set by Partizan Belgrade, and the exciting 19-year-old is now all set to move to Benfica instead.

Pushing the move initially were Markovic's agents, who believed their client talented enough to clinch a move to Stamford Bridge.

And they have not given up on that, believing that Benfica is a proven stepping stone to the even grander stage of Chelsea.

Portuguese newspaper A Bola reports: "Lazar Markovic transfer to Benfica will be a step forward for the Partizan player to get to Chelsea.

"The 19 year old Serbian international will have the opportunity to play regularly, gaining maturity and career progress, and then proceed for a more competitive league and a club with more financial power.

"The local media remember the good relations between Benfica and Chelsea and if Ramires, who was only one year in the Light before joining Chelsea."

Ramires is not the only one, Chelsea bought David Luiz for a spectacular £25 million plus Nemanja Matic back in 2011, and would not be averse to doing it again given the success of the pair.

Despite Markovic's clear talent, a move to Chelsea could have been too soon for him, and the fact he would have been unlikely to have established himself ahead of the trio of Hazard-Mata-Oscar, would have hurt his development.

It is this reason which Chelsea likely did not pursue a deal, with Andre Schurrle incoming and Kevin de Bruyne still potentially coming back next season.

They could have bought him and loaned him out, as they did with De Bruyne, but clearly want the finances which would have been spent now - to be put towards players who will play now - like a superstar striker.

Buying Markovic back in the future will still likely remain on Chelsea's agenda, when he has fully blossomed as a genuine star and proved himself at a higher level in Portugal.

And if the player's agents have anything to do with it, Chelsea will stay well-informed of his progress and alerted to any further deals in transfer windows to come.

Have Chelsea done the right thing passing on Markovic this transfer window?

image: © zongo

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