Chelsea are determined to sign a midfielder and right-back this month, despite already spending almost £500m on new players this season.
The Blues have signed 16 players since Todd Boehly’s consortium purchased the club last summer, but remain keen to add to head coach Graham Potter’s squad during the January window.
Enzo Fernandez is still a target and Chelsea are considering making a new bid for the Benfica and Argentina midfielder.
The west London club tried to sign Fernandez earlier this month, but talks stalled after Benfica insisted he could only leave if his £106m release clause was paid.
Chelsea have tried to negotiate a lower fee and are keen to send players on loan to the Portuguese side as part of the deal.
Fernandez was desperate to move to Chelsea at the start of January, but he is back playing regularly for Benfica after being dropped for one game.
The 22-year-old is in line for a big pay rise if he moves, but Benfica have been trying to get him to sign a new contract as they anticipate clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona will try to sign him in the summer.
With question marks over the long-term futures of Jorginho and N’Golo Kane – whose contracts expire at the end of the season – Chelsea want to sign at least one midfielder.
Along with Fernandez, their targets include Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham and West Ham’s Declan Rice.
Although Chelsea can afford to pay Fernandez’s £106m release clause, doing so would impact their ability to comply with Premier League and UEFA financial fair play rules.
As well as a new midfielder, Chelsea also want to strengthen in defence, with a young right-back being targeted to provide cover for Reece James.
The Blues are in talks with Lyon for Malo Gusto, but the French side want to keep the 19-year-old until at least the summer.
However, Chelsea want a deal now as they are aware other clubs – such as Manchester United and Tottenham – are interested in the France U21 international.
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Who will be on the move this winter? The January transfer window opens on Sunday January 1, 2023 and closes at 11pm on Tuesday January 31, 2023.
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