Manchester United and Chelsea's hopes of signing Nemanja Matic have been put on ice after the midfielder revealed his desire to remain at Benfica for at least another season.
The Serbian midfielder enjoyed a sublime campaign at the Stadium of Light last campaign, despite Benfica missing out on their domestic crown by a point and suffering Europa League heartbreak at the hands of the Blues.
Matic's all-action performances in the heart of midfield have seen him identified as a possible solution to United's midfield woes, while Chelsea, who originally offloaded the 25-year-old to Benfica two years ago, are reportedly considering bringing him back to Stamford Bridge.
When quizzed on Jose Mourinho's reported interest in him, Matic admitted he still has unfinished business in the Premier League, but has little desire to leave the Portuguese club this summer.
"Frankly, I'd love to stay in Lisbon for another season," Matic told sportske.net. "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.
"But I have not told you what I have in Lisbon. I hope next season we have more luck in matches that bring us trophies. After all, the Champions League final (next season) will be played at our Stadium of Light. Why not end at home the curse that has chased the club for 50 years?"
United made enquiries into Matic's availability just two months ago while Sir Alex Ferguson was still manager, according to the Guardian, with the club in desperate need to add to their midfield numbers.
The retirement of Paul Scholes and the uncertainty surrounding the futures of Anderson and Darren Fletcher leaves United in need of at least one additional presence in their midfield. But had the club harboured desires of filling that void with Matic, they will have to wait until next summer.
The Serbia international initially joined Chelsea in the summer of 2009, but made just two appearances for the Blues before he was included in part of the deal to bring David Luiz to Stamford Bridge in 2011.
The 25-year-old has gone from strength to strength since arriving in the Portuguese capital and in an ironic twist, could now be seen as the perfect candidate to add some steel to Chelsea's midfield under Mourinho's second reign as manager.