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Chelsea to make fresh bid for Enzo Fernandez

Chelsea are prepared to make a fresh bid to sign Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandes before the end of the January transfer window, according to Record (page 2).

The Blues had identified Fernandez as their prime target to bolster the defensive midfield department earlier this month but could not get a deal over the line.

They were initially prepared to pay more (€127 million) than the player’s release clause (€120m) in instalments but suddenly changed their terms to the Portuguese outfit.

The west London giants proposed to pay €90m in staggered payments with Hakim Ziyech (permanent), Andrey Santos and David Datro Fofana (both loan) in exchange.

The approach was immediately snubbed by Benfica sporting director Rui Costa, but it appears Chelsea have not given up on signing the World Cup winner this month.

The Blues have yet to recruit a holding midfielder during the winter transfer window, and they are now planning to renew their pursuit of the former River Plate youngster.

Benfica are quite clear that they won’t accept anything less than the buy-out clause. Keeping Financial Fair Play in mind, Chelsea could now be willing to pay the €127m fee previously agreed.

The Blues may look to split the fee over multiple seasons to avoid potential FFP sanctions. If they can finalise a deal, personal terms could be a mere formality.

Fernandez had already been given permission to speak with the Blues before their initial transfer bid. It remains to be seen whether Benfica will show any interest in re-negotiating.

The Primeira Liga giants were left angered and frustrated by Chelsea’s antics previously. Manager Roger Schmidt indirectly slammed the Blues in a press conference for making false promises.

Chelsea are in dire need of a quality defensive midfielder. Fernandez would be a solid acquisition and could guide them upwards in the Premier League table in the coming months.

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