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Chelsea make their final move as the transfer deadline looms large

Argentina World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez has been Chelsea’s top transfer target in this January window.

Graham Potter© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Chelsea are determined to continue their lavish spending as they wait for a decision on their latest big-money offer.

The Stamford Bridge club have made it clear from the start of this January transfer window that their chief target is Argentina World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez.

Yet it seemed as if a deal for the midfielder was unlikely as his club Benfica were refusing to move on their €120million valuation of the 22-year-old.

Chelsea had initially made an offer that included additional players as part of a deal that would see them pay less money directly to Benfica.

That was not acceptable not the Portuguese club and Chelsea have looked at other options as they aim to rebuild their midfield.

With Jorginho and N’Golo Kante expected to leave the west London club this year, Blues boss Graham Potter and club officials have identified the midfield as the key area that needs to be reshaped.

And they view Fernandez as their new talisman, with the player eager to complete a move to Chelsea even though they appear to be unlikely to be playing Champions League football next season.

Chelsea have also expressed interest in Arsenal target Moises Caicedo in recent weeks, but Fernandez is their primary target and it appears the €120million offer could break the deadlock in this deal.

If Benfica agree to sell, Chelsea are expected to hand Fernandez a lengthy contract that will allow them to amortize the cost of the transfer over a seven or eight years period.

It is a policy they have followed with many of their recent signings, including the £88million deal that saw Mykhailo Mudryk sign an eight-and-a-half-year deal with Chelsea earlier this month.

UEFA are now looking to change their rules to ensure clubs cannot offer players a contract of more than five years in a bid to close the loophole exploited by Chelsea.

Those rules changes are not in place yet and that may be one of the reasons why Stamford Bridge chiefs have decided to press forward with the deal for Fernandez.

With Benfica now being offered the price they wanted for Fernandez, it seems that this move is likely to proceed and it would make the player the most expensive signing by any English club.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Chelsea midfielder Jorginho could be set for a shock move to Arsenal, who appear to have lost belief that they can prise Caicedo away from Brighton in this transfer window.

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