Chelsea have reportedly taken a beating in their pursuit of Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
Fernandez emerged as the Blues’ main transfer target in January, with Graham Potter keen to strengthen his midfield ranks after a difficult first few months in charge of the club.
Jorginho and N’Golo Kante are due to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, while Denis Zakaria is on loan to West London until the end of the season.
Chelsea (opens in new tab) are therefore looking for a player to add to their engine room options this month, with Fernandez at the top of their shortlist.
But according to the Daily mail (opens in new tab)Benfica (opens in new tab) have turned down Chelsea’s £112 million opening bid for the World Cup winner, who was named Young Player of the Tournament in Qatar last month.
That’s despite the 21-year-old being valued at just £48.5 million by football site. Transfer market (opens in new tab).
Chelsea submitted a three-figure offer in recent days, but they wanted to pay the money in three installments in a bid to comply with Financial Fair Play rules.
However, Benfica wants to receive Fernandez’s full £106 million release clause upfront.
Chelsea can now move on to other goals, although Fernandez has already let Benfica boss Roger Schmidt know he wants to join The Blues.
Potter’s team takes on Manchester City (opens in new tab) in the Premier League on Thursday, before facing the same opponents in the FA Cup third round this weekend.
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The Blues have reportedly agreed a £33 million deal for Monaco and French centre-back Benoit Badiashile (opens in new tab)although.
Meanwhile, Celtic’s Josip Juranovic and Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries have reportedly been identified as potential right-back targets (opens in new tab)with Reece James out injured again.
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