Nemanja Matic says he will join his own favorite ahead of £21m Chelsea return.
Nemanja Matic claims he will be joining the club he loves when he completes his £21m return to Chelsea.
The Benfica midfielder left the Blues in 2011 as part of the deal that brought David Luiz to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has moved to bring Matic back for a second stint at the club, to the delight of the 25-year-old.
Despite also declaring his love for Benfica, Matic confirmed that he is ready for a new challenge.
“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.”
“The Benfica president did everything he could to get me to stay here but I have wanted to leave and insisted on leaving”
The Serbian international made only three appearances during his first stint at Chelsea under Carlo Ancelotti.
Matic was loaned the following season to Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, before making the move to the Stadium of Light.
Following three successful years with Benfica, Matic revealed club president Luis Filipe Vieira did everything to keep him out of the clutches of Chelsea.
“The Benfica president did everything he could to get me to stay here but I have wanted to leave and insisted on leaving,” he added.
“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.”