Chelsea ready to spend again with £105m chase for Fernandez as transfer deadline closes

January 31 – As if their eye-watering spending wasn’t enough already, Chelsea are reported to be chasing Benfica’s Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernandez in the final hours of the January transfer window for a British record £105 million.

Chelsea have been in talks to sign the Argentina World Cup winner – awarded the young player of the tournament – throughout this month but Benfica had refused to do business unless the Blues pay the €120 million (£105.6 million) release clause.

Chelsea had offered players on loan and on permanent deals but the Portuguese side refused to accept anything except the release clause figure.
As the hours ticked away there was no firm indication whether Chelsea’s offer, thought to include instalments, would be accepted. But if it goes through it would eclipse the £100 million Manchester City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish in 2021.

Benfica have previously accused Chelsea of unsettling the midfielder who only joined from Argentinian side River Plate last August for a reported £10 million and has scored four goals in 29 appearances for the Primeira Liga side.

He scored once during the World Cup, netting Argentina’s second goal in their 2-0 group-stage win over Mexico.

Chelsea have already signed Noni Madueke, Mykhailo Mudryk, David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos, Benoit Badiashile and Malo Gusto on permanent deals in January and brought in Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid.

Chelsea are currently 10th in the table and the aim of the unprecedented spending spree, which critics claim is a scattergun approach to success, is to boost the club’s prospects of a charge up the standings to secure a position in the Champions League that would be worth a minimum £65 million that could rise to over £100 million.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1716130518labto1716130518ofdlr1716130518owedi1716130518sni@w1716130518ahsra1716130518w.wer1716130518dna1716130518