Transfer news: Nemanja Matic confirms he has played last game for Benfica as Chelsea move nears

Serbian midfielder on the verge of rejoining London club

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The Independent Football

Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic looks very close to sealing a return to Chelsea after telling Portuguese media he has played his last game for Benfica.

The 26-year-old left Stamford Bridge almost exactly three years ago in the deal that saw David Luiz join the club but now looks set for a second stint with the Blues.

Matic has now indicated that his return to Chelsea is imminent, telling Portuguese newspaper A Bola he will not be turning out for Benfica again.

"I have played my last game here," he said.

"I want to thank all the people at the club and all the supporters. Benfica will forever be in my heart.

"I played here for two and a half years. I gave my best in every training session, every match, and now is the right time to leave.

"I want to improve, I want to go to a better league and I want to go to Chelsea, the club which I also love."

According to Matic the Lisbon club were desperate to persuade the Serbian to stay but his heart was set on a return to Stamford Bridge.

"The Benfica president did everything he could to get me to stay here but I have wanted to leave and insisted on leaving," he said.

"I respect the effort made to keep me at the club, everyone at Benfica has been very good to me and made me very happy, but I reiterate that I insisted on going as the time is right."