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Chelsea looking to make a breakthrough in push to sign Enzo Fernandez

Chelsea have emerged as the leading contenders to sign Argentina World Cup winner Fernandez.

Enzo Fernandez of Argentina celebrates goal. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

The race to sign Enzo Fernandez is entering a crucial phase, with Chelsea looking to reach an agreement with Benfica that could trigger a move.

Chelsea have emerged as the leading contenders to sign Argentina World Cup winner Fernandez, but there are suggestions that they do not want to play the full €120million fee that would trigger the release clause in is contract.

Benfica have made it clear that they will only consider a sale of Fernandez if that fee is offered, but Chelsea believe they are in a strong negotiating position.

With Liverpool and Manchester United seemingly priced out of the race to sign Fernandez after making initial enquiries, Chelsea may be the only club with the financial power to sign Fernandez in next month’s transfer window.

That could open up the prospect of Chelsea reached a deal that will allow them to pay a hefty transfer fee over several years, even though Benfica are demanding a big up front fee.

Chelsea manager Graham Potter was asked about his transfer ambitions ahead of Sunday’s game against Nottingham Forest and he offered up this response.

"We want to keep improving, that’s the simple answer,” said the former Brighton boss.

"We’ve had a challenging time, some ups and downs in terms of the previous year.

"That is normal I think in any football club but we want to try to stabilise and improve. We want to make our supporters happy because we know the last few weeks before the break wasn’t nice for us.

"Results suffered and performances weren’t where we want them to be. So we have to do better than that.”

Chelsea have already agreed their first transfer of the upcoming transfer window after agreeing a deal to sign striker David Datro Fofana from Norwegian side Molde.

The Ivory Coast international, who celebrated his 20th birthday last week, will officially join the Blues on New Year’s Day.

Now their fans are waiting to see if Enzo Fernandez will also be added to their squad list.

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