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Chelsea officials ‘ready to fly’ to Portugal on Monday to seal transfer for Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez




Chelsea are ready to copy their strategy which won them the race for Mykhailo Mudryk in their pursuit of Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez this month.

Fernandez has been wanted by Chelsea all month but so far, Graham Potter has been unable to get his man to bolster his midfield for the second half of the season.

Benfica and club president Rui Costa are remaining firm on their stance of wanting his €120 million release clause, despite Fernandez being ready to leave if a deal is agreed before Tuesday’s 11pm (UK) deadline.

However, the 22-year-old won’t push for a move and is letting the clubs thrash out a deal, if one can be agreed, before turning his focus on finalising a switch to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are pushing to make Fernandez, who won the World Cup with Argentina last month, their eighth signing of the January window after the arrivals of David Datro Fofana, Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos, Joao Felix, Mykhailo Mudryk, Noni Madueke and Malo Gusto.

The Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership are signalling their intent of ensuring the best players available are acquired in order to boost their chances of climbing up the Premier League table and finishing in the Champions League qualification spots come the end of the season.

Now they are doing everything they can to bring Fernandes to the English capital. They are trying to find an alternative solution to triggering the release clause, with the Blues reluctant to pay the full fee upfront.

As the transfer deadline draws closer as the minutes pass by, the pressure increases on Chelsea to advance talks to find an agreement, and now they have made a critical decision.

As reported by Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph, Chelsea could fly delegates out to Portugal in the final 48 hours of the window to get a deal over the line.

Ben Jacobs adds Christopher Vivell has been involved in the deal, as have Chelsea’s owners who have been directly engaged in a bid to get a transfer agreed.

However, a larger contingent could jet over to Portugal to Lisbon to hold talks in person with Benfica, Rui Costa and other club officials.

Benfica play against Arouca away from home on Tuesday night which means progress over a deal will want to be made on Monday to ensure the Portuguese club’s preparation are minimally disrupted as possible ahead of their league clash.