He had played just two league matches for Chelsea, but having flourished as a playmaker in Portugal, Mourinho now sees the Serbian as a potentially crucial part of his plans, the Daily Star reports.
The paper also adds in their exclusive report that Benfica will sell – but only if Chelsea meet their £38m valuation, meaning the decision to release him could yet cost Chelsea £34m.
Roman Abramovich, however, has been convinced of the merits of the deal, according to Mourinho, and is prepared to back his new manager to bring Matic home.
The Daily Express warns, however, that Monaco are also keen on the midfielder and their financial clout could make it difficult for Chelsea to wrap up a deal.
Comments are filtering back from South America of Suarez’s discontent, but financially the Reds have no urgency to sell him and will not entertain offers less than £40m.
The Anfield club’s move to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan continues unaffected – the Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder is due in for a medical ahead of a £23m move, and Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is expected to follow. Those deals will be part-funded by the £16m sale of Andy Carroll to West Ham United, with his medical set for this week before the move is rubber-stamped.
Across to the Daily Mail, who reckon that Gonzalo Higuain is set to join Arsenal THIS WEEK (their emphasis, not ours) – once the club commit to a record £22m fee.
Higuain is believed to have given his word privately to the Gunners that he will put pen to paper on a deal, and will agree a £150,000-a-week contract.
The good news doesn’t end there – in addition to being confident of retaining defenders Laurent Koscielny and Bacary Sagna, the club are also lining up a move for Real Sociedad rising star Asier Illaramendi, who would slot into a defensive midfield role at the Emirates if he completed a £10m deal.
In the same paper there are reports that Tottenham are revamping their midfield – £15m Paulinho, the Brazil and Corinthians midfielder, could be the first new man in to White Hart Lane, while compatriot Bernard is also a target.
Spurs are also interested in offloading Emmanuel Adebayor if they can convince Fenerbahce to take him, and replacing him with Leandro Damiao.
The key factor is Manuel Pellegrini – the City boss worked with the starlet at Malaga last season and his influence is crucial in any deal. Additionally, as The Sun pick up, his fear that he’d be a sub in Madrid is also a factor.
And finally, because we love a good Photoshopping – here’s the Daily Star’s take on Joe Kinnear’s suggestion that Alan Pardew is happy with his appointment as Director of Football at Newcastle.