Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic has confirmed he will complete a move to Chelsea in the coming days.
The Serbia international has been widely linked with a return to the Blues in recent days – and the 26-year-old has now revealed that the rumours are true.
He told Portuguese paper A Bola: “Yes, it was my last game (against Porto last weekend). I want to thank all the people at the club and all the supporters. Benfica will be forever in my heart.
“I played here for two and a half years, I gave my best in every practice session, every game, and now is the right time to leave. I want to improve, I want to go to a better league and want to play for Chelsea, a club which I also like.
He added: “I also thank the president of Benfica, who did everything he could to keep me here but I have wanted to leave and insisted on leaving.
“I respect the effort made to keep me at Benfica, and all the people of Benfica were very good to me, made me happy, but I repeat that I insisted on going out as I feel that the time is right.”
Matic was a £3m-rated makeweight in the deal that brought David Luiz to Stamford Bridge in January 2011. He is expected to cost around £25m when the Blues re-sign him.