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Jesus expects Matic to leave Benfica
Jul 05, 2013 2:26 PM EST
Benfica coach Jorge Jesus is resigned to losing highly rated midfielder Nemanja Matic during the transfer window.
The 24-year-old joined the Portuguese club from Chelsea in January 2011 as part of the big-money deal that saw centre-back David Luiz move in the opposite direction to Stamford Bridge.
Matic has since excelled under Jesus, making 45 appearances last season as Benfica narrowly missed out on the Primeira Liga title and lost in the UEFA Europa League final to Chelsea.
Now 58-year-old Jesus has acknowledged that he may struggle to keep hold of the Serbia international.
"Of course Matic's exit worries me," Jesus told Benfica TV.
"When he came to Portugal he was on the periphery at Chelsea. We thought that he had potential. In the two years that followed we worked with him and made him the player he is today, highly coveted by the biggest clubs in the world.
"It is not easy to replace a player with the quality of Matic, but last season I was in tougher situations after the exits of Javi Garcia and Witsel.
"I wish he didn't leave, but I know that is almost impossible, given the demand there is for him."