Chelsea are weighing up whether or not to return to Benfica with a massive offer for star midfielder Enzo Fernandez ahead of the end of the January window as the Blues remain in the hunt for midfield reinforcements.
Graham Potter’s side have added six players already this January, with forwards Mykhaylo Mudryk, David Datro Fofana and Noni Madueke all joining on permanent deals along with Joao Felix on loan until the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Benoit Badiashile has joined to bolster the Blues backline, and young midfielder Andrey Santos has arrived but is not expected to play a role in the first team this season.
However, as their 0-0 draw with Liverpool at Anfield showed, they remain incredibly light in midfield, and are looking to add at least one more player before the end of the winter window, with a right-back also potentially on the agenda.
And to that end, they have already seen a £55m bid for Moises Caicedo turned down by Brighton, with the Seagulls ready to hold out for £75m this January ahead of expected widespread interest this summer.
Reports in Portugal, however, claim that the Blues are ready to go back for their top target Enzo Fernandez, with Benfica previously having pointed to his 120m euro release clause as the only way to do a deal this winter.
Previously, Benfica boss Roger Schmidt slammed Chelsea for their tactics in trying to sign the World Cup winner, telling the media:
“It’s disrespectful to all of us, to Benfica, they’re driving the player crazy, they pretend they want to pay the clause and then they want to negotiate.”
He later added that “The Enzo story is closed, there’s nothing left. He’s our player”, effectively ending any pursuit.
And, with relations between the two sides seemingly strained, any deal between now and the end of the January transfer window will likely revolve around that £106m release clause.