Chelsea are expected to make progress in their bid to swoop for Benfica star Enzo Fernandez and the Stamford Bridge deal could move on ‘quite significantly by the weekend’, transfer insider Dean Jones has told GiveMeSport.
The Blues have fallen 18 points adrift of Premier League table-toppers Arsenal and head coach Graham Potter could freshen up his options during the remainder of the winter window.
Chelsea transfer news – Enzo Fernandez
Writing in his regular column for CaughtOffside, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has revealed Chelsea’s discussions over a deal for Fernandez are at an advanced stage and the west Londoners will push to reach an agreement this week.
However, the respected journalist warns a stumbling block could prove to be Rui Costa’s stance as the Benfica president is unwilling to sanction the Argentina international’s mid-season departure unless his £106million release clause is met.
Chelsea have submitted a £115million bid and are willing to surpass the figure written into Fernandez’s contract as it would allow them to structure the deal in a way which means the fee does not need to be paid in a singular lump sum.
The 21-year-old has confirmed he is open to making the move to Stamford Bridge, while Liverpool and Manchester United have not headed to the negotiating table with a proposal yet, so the Blues appear to be in the driving seat.
Reliable journalist Simon Phillips recently told GiveMeSport that Chelsea are ‘pushing hard’ to sign Fernandez before the transfer window slams shut at the end of the month.
What has Dean Jones said about Fernandez?
Jones understands that those close to the negotiations are growing in confidence that a deal will be struck for Fernandez.
The journalist is optimistic that Chelsea will progress in their pursuit by the time Potter’s side head to Manchester City in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.
Jones told GiveMeSport: “Judging by how excited some people close to this deal are getting, it does seem quite genuine.
“From the leaks and briefings that have been put out so far, I would expect that this would have moved on quite significantly by the weekend. That’s what I’m looking out for at the moment.”
Read more: January Transfer Window 2023: When Does It Begin, Rumours and Everything You Need To Know
What would Fernandez add to Chelsea’s squad?
Although Fernandez is still in the early stages of his career, he has already made 110 appearances at senior club level, according to Transfermarkt.
In that time, the midfielder has scored 16 goals and racked up a further 17 assists, so it is obvious that he would give Chelsea an additional threat in the final third of the pitch.
Fernandez would also bring a winning mentality to west London, having helped Argentina to World Cup glory last month and clinched silverware in his homeland.
It was in Qatar where he truly burst onto the scene, winning the Young Player of the Tournament award.
Fernandez’s performances resulted in him being handed a 7.06 rating by WhoScored, which was only bettered by three teammates.
With that being the case, it is clear that the South American would be an exciting and astute piece of business from Chelsea.
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