Manchester City are ready to mount a serious January move for Benfica midfielder Namanja Matic, according to reports from The Sun.

The Serbian ace – who spent some of his early career at Chelsea – has developed into one of European football’s top enforcers over the course of the past few seasons after blossoming in Lisbon.

His impressive displays have led to rumoured interested from his former side and Manchester United, but Manuel Pellegrini is now considering a push for his signature next month.

Despite having a wealth of central options at his disposal, the Chilean is keen to bring the rugged Eastern European to the Etihad Stadium as he goes about clinching the Premier League title at the first time of asking.

City may pursue a straight cash deal, or could look to reduce his rumoured £30m valuation by offering Javi Garcia – who used to play for Benfica – in exchange.

Matic himself has expressed a desire to return to English football in the past, despite having endured a frustrating spell at Chelsea.

The midfielder was often marginalised in West London, and eventually left the club for Benfica in 2011 as a part of the deal that took David Luiz in the opposite direction.

Liverpool are also keen, but it is believed that the Merseyside outfit cannot fund a big money move in January.

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