Chelsea officially open talks for midfielder who has ‘hugely impressed’ Potter, with officials ready to repeat tactic that won Mudryk race

Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez

Negotiations between Chelsea and Benfica for the transfer of Enzo Fernandez are back underway, according to reports.

Chelsea have been trying to sign the World Cup winner this month, just half a season after he joined Benfica. Understandably, the Portuguese club have been reluctant to let go of him so soon.

Hence, Chelsea have found it difficult to get their way when it comes to signing Fernandez. Benfica have even accused them of being disrespectful.

The deal has appeared to crumble at various stages, but there have been regular hints that things could be back on. Indeed, earlier on Sunday, information filtered through that Benfica have been expecting another approach from Chelsea.

Their instincts must have been right, because the latest news is that Chelsea have opened talks once more regarding a deal for Fernandez.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Chelsea are discussing a deal for Fernandez before the January 31 transfer deadline.

The Blues “believe they have a chance” of finally signing the 22-year-old, it is claimed. In fact, they “have made it clear” that they are willing to increase the £70million bid they saw rejected earlier in the month.

Benfica have been holding out for Fernandez’s £105m release clause. Now, Chelsea are preparing to test their resolve in a “last-gasp effort” to bring the South American to the Premier League.

To get their man, they are ready to repeat a tactic that helped them win the race for Mykhaylo Mudryk earlier this month.

In that pursuit, club officials flew out to foreign land to directly negotiate with the player’s employers of the time. Now, representatives are ready to travel to Portugal for direct talks with Benfica.

Their aim is to tie up a deal that means they can bring Fernandez back with them.

They know that the player himself is interested in the move, while Chelsea manager Graham Potter has been “hugely impressed” by him.

But they still need to convince Benfica to do business just 29 appearances into Fernandez’s spell with the club. He is under contract there until 2027.

Enzo Fernandez pursuit prompts busy end to January transfer window

Chelsea may have their work cut out to make Benfica change their minds from a few weeks ago. But they have been a force to be reckoned with in the transfer market under Todd Boehly’s ownership.

Perhaps, with that in mind, nothing can be ruled out yet.

This month alone, Chelsea have brought in the likes of Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke and Joao Felix. They continue to construct a squad for the present and future, hoping it will help improve their current fortunes on the pitch.

Midfield is a key area they are wanting to evolve, as doubts linger about the futures of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante. Therefore, Fernandez would likely have an impact if he was to end up at Stamford Bridge.

It could be a busy 48 hours for Chelsea’s decision makers as they aim to cap off their January activity with the addition of Fernandez.

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