Chelsea take midfielder Matić back from Benfica

"A fantastic all-round midfielder" according to Chelsea FC boss José Mourinho, Nemanja Matić has returned to Stamford Bridge from SL Benfica for a fee of around €25m.

Nemanja Matić playing against Chelsea in the 2013 UEFA Europa League final
Nemanja Matić playing against Chelsea in the 2013 UEFA Europa League final ©Sportsfile

Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matić has rejoined Chelsea FC from SL Benfica for a fee believed to be in the region of €25m, less than three years after leaving Stamford Bridge.

Matić, 25, who has penned a five-and-a-half-year contract, made three substitute appearances in his first spell with the Blues after signing from MFK Košice in 2009. He then showed glimpses of his potential during a season-long loan at Vitesse, earning a move to Benfica as part of an exchange deal involving David Luiz in 2011.

"I am very happy for the opportunity to be back at this club," he said. "I feel very good and will give my best to help the team and make the Chelsea fans happy." Chelsea manager José Mourinho added: "I am very pleased 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 achieve our ambitions."

The midfielder featured in the Benfica side that succumbed 2-1 to Chelsea in last term's UEFA Europa League final. He scored seven times for the Eagles in the Portuguese Liga, including a volley against FC Porto that was voted second in FIFA's Puskas Award for the best goal scored anywhere in the world in 2013.

Mourinho's charges travel to Galatasaray AŞ for the opening leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie on 26 February.