Chelsea transfer news: Nemanja Matic closer to signing in £21m deal

The Serbia international only left Chelsea in 2011, at which time he was valued at £4m

Chelsea are understood to be on the verge of completing a deal for Nemanja Matic that will see the midfielder return to the club in a £21m move.

The Serbia international could be in the Chelsea squad in time to face Manchester United this Sunday.

Matic originally joined the club in 2009 for just £1.5m before being sold to Benfica two years later as part of the deal to bring in David Luiz. The 26-year-old was valued at £4m at that time. He made just three substitute appearances during his first spell at Chelsea but since moving to Portugal, he has excelled.

The Evening Standard reports that the deal for Matic had to wait for Benfica's match against Porto yesterday before negotiations could be finalised. The London paper adds that Matic is expected in the capital tomorrow.

The midfielder has a £37m buy-out clause in his contract but Benfica are in desperate need of funds to ease financial problems at the club, meaning they are ready to do business at a lesser fee.

Manager Jose Mourinho had said his side would not be making any additions to the squad this month, however with Kevin de Bruyne leaving for Wolfsburg in a £17m deal, both funds and a hole in the squad have arisen.

Matic, who will be cup tied for the Champions League, came in for praise from Mourinho earlier this month: “Matic is a good player. Currently he looks solid and is wise and stable. He is a player that looks very mature on the pitch.”