Nemanja Matic talks up exciting €40m Chelsea target

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has spoken highly of former Benfica colleague Lazar Markovic.

Chelsea bit the bullet to pay £21 million for Nemanja Matic in January, a signing that already looks to be paying off.

The Serbian is already talking up one of his former Benfica colleagues, a player who Chelsea had an opportunity to sign last summer.

The Blues were widely reported to be tracking Markovic this time last year, after the teenager's stunning form for Partizan Belgrade.

Chelsea already had an overflowing number of playmakers however, and stood aside as the wonderkid sealed a €10 million move to Benfica.

The Portuguese giants reportedly added a release clause of €40 million into his contract, which is just as well as the Serbian has already attracted interest from PSG in recent months.

Fellow countryman Matic told Portuguese paper O Jogo that 19-year-old Markovic can go onto achieve great things.

"What can I say about our 'Butterfly'? He has so much potential that if he can change his attitude in training, may be one of the best players in Europe in his position.

"He is only 19 years old, will mature and then no one can stop him!

"It was great to have played with this fantastic kid for six months."

While some players take time to adjust to a new league, Markovic endured no such struggle, scoring on his debut back in August.

He has scored five goals and has two assists to his name to date from the left wing, and is already a senior Serbian international.

Had he signed for Chelsea, he would have found himself playing second fiddle to Eden Hazard all season so a move to Benfica was surely the right move. 

Yet if he continues to show signs of becoming the player Matic describes, a future Chelsea move certainly cannot be ruled out.

image: © Crystian Cruz

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch