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Why Man City & Real Madrid forced Chelsea to land £106.8m signing in January



(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

It was a blockbuster January transfer window for Chelsea following a spend in excess of £300 million on eight new signings.

David Datro Fofana, Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos, Joao Felix, Mykhailo Mudryk, Noni Madueke and Malo Gusto were all signed prior to the January deadline. But Chelsea left their biggest deal of the month last and right until the wire.

A deal was agreed to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica after a month-long pursuit of the Argentina international, who clinched the World Cup with his country a month prior in Qatar, where Chelsea stepped up their interest following his impressive performances for country.

The 22-year-old completed a move until June 2031, signing for a club and British record of £106.8 million from Benfica.

Chelsea were in desperate need of a midfielder and could have waited until the summer, but with the club at huge risk of not qualifying for next season’s Champions League, the risk of not signing a world class midfielder was one they could simply not take.

Todd Boehly and Co were ready to cough up the significant amount to bring Fernandez to Stamford Bridge, and after four appearances so far for the Blues it could look to prove a quality addition for Graham Potter‘s side.

READ MORE: Enzo Fernandez makes Lionel Messi admission after Chelsea transfer

They are also interested in Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham and West Ham’s Declan Rice, however many other clubs, who will definitely secure Champions League football next season, remain interested.

It’s why Chelsea moved quickly and hard in January to ensure they won the race, and it’s now been revealed by Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph how Manchester City and Real Madrid played their part in Potter’s side rushing to get a mid-season deal done for Fernandez.

It’s claimed Chelsea ‘accelerated their move’ after ‘calculating’ they could face competition from six of Europe’s biggest clubs in the summer had they delayed their move for Fernandez.

READ MORE: Potter laughs off ‘crisis meeting’ as Chelsea boss accepts criticism from ‘upset & angry’ fans

Chelsea believe they beat Man City and Real Madrid to his signature by ‘moving quickly’, with other clubs all wanting a world class midfielder signing this summer.

Fernandez has already shared how well he has already settled into life in England, Chelsea and the Premier League.

He recently told the official Chelsea website: “I’ve always longed to play in the Premier League. Chelsea FC has given me the opportunity to play here, and I feel grateful for their trust.

“I love everything about the club, I’m so happy with my teammates and technical staff. Honestly, ever since I landed here I felt at home.

“I’ll always try to give it my all along with my team-mates to achieve the greatest things for Chelsea.”

READ MORE: “Worst pre-season they’ve had” – Potter reveals Chelsea players’ verdict on unorganised US tour