Former Chelsea youngster Nemanja Matic has had something of a tumultuous career for one such young.
An early switch to Slovakia, snapped up by Chelsea, flogged for nothing and now wanted by every Tom, Dick and Harry in continental Europe.
‘The Spider’ had an excellent campaign at SL Benfica last season; stepping in for the departed Javi Garcia with aplomb in the heart of midfield.
His form and obvious talent belied the fact Chelsea decided to use him as a makeweight in the David Luiz transfer as well as his continued absence from the Serbian national team.
A couple of months ago Matic said in an interview how he wanted to stay in Lisbon for one more season; citing unfinished business after a campaign which saw the Eagles come away with nothing when at one point they looked odds-on to complete a magnificent treble.
This exclamation came amid rumour of Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco interest; as well as a reported desire of Jose Mourinho to bring the midfield tower back to Stamford Bridge.
But now it seems that Mourinho’s most recent past employers are also looking at the 24-year-old this summer.
Real Madrid are being strongly linked with a few midfielders in recent weeks with Matic the most recent strong link to the Bernabeu.
And according to Portuguese publication A Bola it could have a knock on effect for Manchester United’s reported transfer plans.
They claim that Real Madrid are prepared to be as canny s possible in negotiations for the midfield powerhouse as they look to significantly decrease the Lisbon clubs current asking price of €40 million.
Benfica currently have a former Real Madrid player on their books in the form of Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay. The 26-year-old centre-back has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United in recent weeks and months; with a deal being reported as ‘done’ on numerous occasions.
But Benfica are understandably reluctant to sell; as at the moment Madrid would receive 50% of any transfer fee paid for Garay’s services.
But not if Matic comes their way. It is reported Real will forgo their 50% sell-on clause as part of any deal for Matic.
They are also prepared to throw in former Benfica player Fabio Coentrao as an extra deal sweetener.
If Benfica were to receive 100% of the funds regarding a sale on Garay they are far more likely to depart with their star defender; especially now they have signed a replacement in Lisandro Ezequiel Lopez of Arsenal de Sarandi.
So the sale of Matic to Real Madrid would invariably make any pursuit of Garay far more likely; even if it would also make it more time consuming.
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