Manchester United keen on Chelsea old boy

Benfica midfielder Nemanja MaticFormer Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic is thought to be on Manchester United’s radar after becoming a key member of Benfica’s team, according to Sport 360.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is thought to be in the market for reinforcements in the middle of the park for next season, with Paul Scholes tipped to retire for a second time in the summer and question marks existing over the long-term future of illness stricken Darren Fletcher.

The Serbian enforcer is one of the names being looked at by Ferguson and his scouting network and another standout performance against Newcastle in the Europa League won’t have gone unnoticed.

Magpies manager Alan Pardew was extremely impressed with Matic’s display for the Portuguese league leaders on Thursday and made a point of commenting about it in his post-match interviews.

He said: “The way they kept the ball was fantastic, but Matic in particular. The way he has grown since he has gone away from Chelsea, he’s a terrific player for them.”

Matic’s opportunities were restricted to just three first-team outings during his two-year stay at Stamford Bridge, before moving to Portugal in January 2011 as part of the deal that saw David Luiz head in the opposite direction.

However, he has clearly developed with a regular run in Benfica’s starting eleven after finally getting his chance for them following Javi Garcia and Axel Witsel’s transfers to Manchester City and Zenit St Petersburg respectively.

Excluding teenager Nick Powell and the return of Paul Scholes, Sir Alex hasn’t signed a central midfielder since Owen Hargreaves in 2007.

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