Manchester City are preparing a January bid for Benfica midfielder and Liverpool and Chelsea target Nemanja Matic to shore up their Premier League title bid, reports suggest.
The former Chelsea man managed just two appearances in two seasons for the Blues following his arrival at the club in 2009 before he left for Portugal in January 2011, used as a make weight in the deal that saw David Luiz brought to Stamford Bridge.
Since his move, the Serbian international has developed into one of the finest midfielder's in the Portuguese league, playing an instrumental role in his side's run to the Europa League final last season before they were eventually toppled by his former club.
Numerous reports over the first half of the season have suggested Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United have identified the 25-year-old as the man required to shore up their respective midfields. But The Sun now suggest Manchester City have joined the race for Matic with reports suggesting the club may use former Benfica midfielder Javi Garcia as a potential make weight in any January deal.
Despite his wretched first spell at the club, Matic has expressed no ill-feeling towards Chelsea. The former MFK Kosice youngster has even indicated that he would relish the opportunity to play under Jose Mourinho and address his unfinished business in the Premier League.
"Of course I am struck by the fact that someone like Jose Mourinho wants me back in London, and there is a motive to prove I can still play in the Premier League," Matic told Serbian told sportske.net during the summer.
But despite Chelsea perhaps holding a slight advantage, the possibility of Garcia featuring in a deal may hand the initiative back to Manuel Pellegrini. The Spaniard completed his move to the Etihad Stadium for a fee of £15.8m but has largely struggled to impose himself in the starting XI.