Chelsea are close to landing a top Manchester United transfer target as they continue their January spending spree.
Having signed David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos, Noni Madueke, Benoit Badiashile and Mykhaylo Mudryk already and loaned Joao Felix, the Blues are hoping to add Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez to the €178.5 million’s worth of talent they have already acquired.
According to The Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg, “Fernández … remains an option for Chelsea.
“Sources have indicated talks are due to resume this week.”
Benfica are adamant that no player will leave in this window unless their release clause is met in full, which in Fernandez’ case is €120 million.
United manager Erik ten Hag is reported to be a keen admirer of the Argentinian but is unable to bid in this window as the club has made no money available for transfers pending a sale or investment injection.
The Red Devils had hoped that the prohibitive release clause would mean that Benfica get their wish and keep the attacking midfielder until the summer, at which point they could, in theory, join the race.
But the money burning a hole in Todd Boehly’s pocket shows no sign of being exhausted and Fernandez could well be heading for Stamford Bridge in the next seven days.
Steinberg says that he is also plotting moves for Brighton duo Alexis McAllister and Moises Caicedo, the latter also a reported United target.
A fourth reported United target, Declan Rice, is also expected to be the subject of a summer bid from Chelsea.
Having already pinched Mudryk from under Arsenal’s nose, it seems that Boehly is determined to sign every player wanted by any of his Premier League rivals. How this will be squared with Financial Fair Play rules and how a bloated squad will be kept happy remains to be seen.
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