Chelsea have reportedly made a fresh player-plus-cash offer to sign Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
The Blues are still in the market to bolster Graham Potter’s squad, despite having already recruited a total of six players for a combined fee close to £150m.
Mykhaylo Mudryk, Noni Madueke, Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos have all completed permanent moves to Stamford Bridge, while Joao Felix has joined on loan from Atletico Madrid.
A new central midfielder is thought to be high on Potter’s list of priorities, with 21-year-old Fernandez a player who has been strongly linked with a big-money move to West London.
Chelsea allegedly failed with a player-plus-cash offer worth £87m plus Hakim Ziyech, Datro Fofana and Santos – the latter two on loan – to sign Fernandez earlier this month.
Fernandez is understood to have informed Benfica of his desire to join Chelsea, but the Portuguese giants are adamant that they will only entertain offers that match the player’s €120m (£105.7m) release clause.
Chelsea’s hopes of recruiting the 2022 World Cup winner seemingly came to an end when Benfica boss Roger Schmidt stated that the midfielder will not be leaving the club in January.
“The Enzo story is closed, there’s nothing left. He’s our player. He’s in a good position, Enzo is happy, training well, he’s part of the team. He’s a key player. That’s all,” Schmidt told reporters earlier this month.
However, Chelsea have not given up hope of striking a deal with Benfica in January, and are allegedly preparing to revive their pursuit in the final week of the winter window.
According to Record, via football.london, Chelsea have made another bid in the region of €100m (£87.8m) plus “players” in the deal, although the identify of those included have not be disclosed.
Fernandez has made an impressive start to life at Benfica following his summer move from River Plate, recording four goals and seven assists in 28 appearances, and the Primeira Liga leaders are under no pressure to sell the midfielder who is under contract until June 2027.
Should Chelsea fail to lure Fernandez to Stamford Bridge, a number of other midfielders are said to be on their list of targets, including Brighton & Hove Albion’s Moises Caicedo.
The Blues have allegedly seen an opening offer of £55m for the 21-year-old rejected by the Seagulls, and they have since tabled an improved bid of £65m.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are also understood to have agreed personal terms with Lyon right-back Malo Gusto, although their opening bid is said to have been turned down by the Ligue 1 club.