Chelsea Transfer Rumours: Nemanja Matic Bid Made to Benfica

Tom EdeContributor IIIJanuary 13, 2014

NAPLES, ITALY - AUGUST 09:  Nemanja Matic of Benfca in action during the pre-season friendly match between SSC Napoli and SL Benfica at Stadio San Paolo on August 9, 2013 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Chelsea have a launched a £25 million bid to bring Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic back to Stamford Bridge, according to Monday reports. 

The 25-year-old was with the Blues from 2009-2011 before leaving for Benfica as part of the deal to sign David Luiz.

The Daily Mail's Simon Jones reports that Jose Mourinho wants to strengthen the defensive-midfield position, and he sees Matic as the man to install in that role:

Mourinho is keen to bring in a defensive midfielder as the Blues boss is unwilling to play centre-back Luiz in that role and summer signing Marco van Ginkel is out for the season with a knee ligament injury.

Strengthening in that area is the Portuguese's top priority as the Blues look to win their first Premier League title since 2010.

Matic was Portugal's Primeira Liga Player of the Year last season and was part of the Benfica side that lost the Europa League final 2-1 to Chelsea.

Despite having one of the best defensive records in the Premier League this season (conceding 19 from 21 games), questions have been asked about the Blues' defensive capabilities, especially when in December they shipped three goals in successive league matches for the first time in 14 years.

In Mourinho's first season in charge of the Blues, they won the title conceding just 15 goals all season, a Premier League record.

The Serb's arrival would see Luiz and Gary Cahill battle it out for a place alongside skipper John Terry in the Blues' back four, while it could also further open the exit door for out-of-favour Juan Mata.

Spaniard Mata has started just 11 league games this term and has completed 90 minutes just once, per Soccerbase, with Mourinho preferring Eden Hazard and Oscar.

While a prolific striker would arguably benefit Chelsea more than a defensive midfielder—strikers have scored just eight of Chelsea's 40 league goals so far this season—ITV Sport's twitter feed reports that Mourinho will not buy one this month:

Earlier in the season, Mourinho had written off Chelsea's title chances—according to Jack Wilson of the Daily Star—though they currently sit second and just one point behind leaders Manchester City.

So if Chelsea can strengthen and build on an already improving defensive record, don't bet against them being up there in May for their fourth Premier League title.