- 31 January
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Chelsea prepare second raid for Benfica's Enzo Fernandez
Chelsea may have spent roughly €200 million already this January, but Todd Boehly's lucrative spending is showing no signs of slowing down, with reports that Graham Potter's side are ready to re-enter discussions to sign Enzo Fernandez.
The Blues have addressed most areas of their squad this month, but central midfield still remains an issue that need fixing.
They have seen a first bid for Moises Caicedo turned down by Brighton & Hove Albion, with the Seagulls wanting upwards of €75m to persuade them to sell the Ecuadorian mid-season, and are ready to turn their attention back to Benfica's Fernandez.
The 2022 World Cup Young Player of the Tournament winner was embroiled in a transfer sage during the early days of the January transfer window, with Chelsea seemingly set to land him.
But, the West London club reportedly lowered their offer at the last minute, which angered Benfica and ended negotiations. Throughout talks, the Portuguese giants repeatedly stressed that Chelsea must activate Fernandez's €120m release clause in order to purchase him in January.
Boehly wasn't keen on spending that much on a player with just six months of European experience and decided to walk away. However, he has reportedly made a U-turn and is preparing a second raid to convince Benfica to sell.
According to Portuguese outlet Record, Chelsea have not given up on signing the Argentina international and are willing to submit another offer before the January transfer window closes.
The two clubs have previously been a way apart in valuation, something that must change if Chelsea want to finally get a deal over the line.
Blues fans have been crying out for Boehly to re-enter the race for Fernandez following his eye-catching performance in Benfica's 3-0 victory over Santa Clara on January 21. Fernandez provided two fantastic assists to follow his goal in the side's Taca De Portugal victory against Varzim.
Earlier this month, Fernandez skipped training and missed the home clash against Portimonense, prompting heavy rumours of an exit, but he remains a Benfica player for now.
The transfer window in Portugal shuts two days later than in England, meaning Benfica do have more time to find a replacement for Fernandez if Chelsea pay his release clause before the end of the month.
Chelsea's January business
Chelsea have already spent €178.5 million this January, which could rise by a further €30m if add-on clauses in Mykhailo Mudryk's contract are met.
They have added David Datro Fofana, Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos, Joao Felix (loan), Noni Madueke and Mudryk to their ranks already, but remain keen on signing several more additions in a bid to arrest their slide down the Premier League table.
The Blues are currently 10th in the English top flight and face an uphill battle to finish in the European places this season. They face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last-16 later this campaign.