Nemanja Matic has become one of the most common names to pop up in the transfer columns this summer after a truly superb individual season for the big Serbian at SL Benfica last year.
Of course there were other reasons for our heightened interest in his potential switch to one of Europe’s big clubs.
Matic was once a prodigy at Chelsea - a product of their methodical scouting system he was snapped up from Slovenian outfit FC Kosice with the hope of him making the grade at Stamford Bridge.
But when Chelsea decided they wanted to bring David Luiz into the club Benfica wanted more than just financial collateral - Matic was offered as a makeweight and went in the opposite direction.
Since then he has come on leaps and bounds and that advancement in footballing ability has seen the player nicknamed ‘The Spider’ linked with €40-50 million moves to Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, AS Monaco and most recently a sensational return to Chelsea.
It was reported at the weekend that returning Blues boss Jose Mourinho was a big fan of the 24-year-old defensive midfielder and he was willing to stump up the cash for a former Chelsea player - despite the egg on face moment it could cause the hierarchy.
But regardless of the legitimacy you gave that rumour in itself it does not seem like it will be happening anytime soon - as Matic confirmed himself this week:
"Frankly, I want to stay another year in Lisbon. Of course, someone like Jose Mourinho wanting me to go back to London would be an opportunity to prove that I can play in the Premier League, but I want to achieve more at Benfica, particularly in the big games."
So for now Matic is perfectly happy to remain at Benfica - and a little bit of unfinished business could be the reason.
Late goals cost Benfica silverware last year as the dream of a treble slipped away from them in dramatic style. Porto eked out the title race, Ivanovic put paid to the Europa League dream and Vitoria Guimares shocked them in the Portuguese Cup Final.
But that has not dented Matic’s optimism for next year - he feels he can win the biggest prize of all with the Portuguese outfit next campaign:
"I hope I have more luck in the playoffs. After all, the Champions League final will be played on our turf at the Stadium of Light. Why not end the curse that chases the club for 50 years at home?"
Will you be keeping an eye on Matic in Portugal next season?
image: © Yoca91