Nemanja Matic looks set to re-join Chelsea.
Chelsea are set to complete the signing of Nemanja Matic for a second time, according to a report by Dominic Fifield of The Guardian.
A player Chelsea were happy to part company with for as little as £3 million in 2011 will now cost them around £22 million, although the fee will be offset by the sale of Kevin de Bruyne to Wolfsburg, something Ben Smith of BBC Sport confirmed in a tweet:
Kevin de Bruyne will join Wolfsburg in next 48 hours. Fee could rise to £20m. #CFC will use that money to re-sign Nemanja Matic— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) January 13, 2014
Matic, 25, is viewed by Mourinho as another vital step along the path to building a team capable of challenging for long-term success in the Premier League and in Europe.
Since returning to Chelsea, the Portuguese has added Willian (25 years old), Andre Schurrle (23) and Marco van Ginkel (21) to a squad that already boasts the youthful talents Eden Hazard and Oscar.
But what it does not have is the attacking focal point needed to ensure trophies, such as when Didier Drogba was the masthead for Chelsea's former era of glory under Mourinho.
By prioritising a midfield signing in the January transfer window, over-strengthening his side's below-par striking set-up Mourinho is gambling that the faltering trio of Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba will get his side through the rest of the season.
To date the trio have scored a paltry 18 goals between them this season, and just eight in the Premier League. By comparison, Liverpool's Luis Suarez has 22 on his own, while Manchester United's Wayne Rooney has 13.
Rooney is a reported target for Chelsea, per Sky Sports, and it could be that Mourinho is unwilling to move in the transfer market unless he can capture the big-name centre-forward that he wants.
This may result in the Blues waiting until the summer to remedy their striking situation.
Matic has been described by international team-mate Branislav Ivanovic as having improved a lot during his time at Benfica, per Fifield:
When he was at Chelsea you saw he has the qualities to be a top player but he needed practice.
In Portugal he has improved his defensive ways a lot and his aggressiveness. And he has great vision [going] forward.
Having been given the practice at Benfica, Chelsea are shelling out a lot of money on a player in a position they already have adequate cover in, and Mourinho is taking a gamble into the bargain.