Transfer news: Chelsea sign Nemanja Matic from Benfica only three years after letting him go

Former Blue returning to Stamford Bridge on five-and-a-half year deal

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The Independent Football

Chelsea have signed Nemanja Matic from Benfica on a five-and-a-half-year contract according to the club's website.

The 25-year-old, who arrived in the capital last night in order to finalise his Benfica exit, is thought to have joined for around £21m.

The move comes only three years after Matic left Chelsea, when he was used as a makeweight in the deal that brought David Luiz to Stamford Bridge.

However Jose Mourinho reportedly marked the midfielder out as a key transfer target when he also rejoined the club and the Chelsea hierarchy clearly had no problem with signing a player they let go so recently.

On signing his five-and-a-half-year contract, the Serbian said: "I am very happy for this opportunity to be back at this club. I feel very good because of that and just want to say I will give my best to help the team and make the Chelsea fans happy."

Jose Mourinho added: 'I am very pleased that Nemanja is returning to Chelsea. He has grown as a player in Portugal and has become a fantastic all-round midfielder. I am sure he will become a very important member of the squad and help us to achieve our ambitions.'

It is thought that Chelsea will offset most of the cost of the transfer with the imminent sale of Kevin De Bruyne to Wolfsburg for around £16m.