Chelsea consider renewing chase for Everton's Anthony Gordon
Chelsea have shown an interest in Everton duo Anthony Gordon and Amadou Onana as the Stamford Bridge club gear up for a frantic end to the January transfer window in which they have made a bid for Lyon right-back Malo Gusto and are lining up a new offer for Benfica star Enzo Fernandes.
Having spent almost £500m since the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital takeover, the Blues remain in the market for new players - primarily a right-back and at least one midfielder.
Chelsea have pin-pointed a back-up right-back to Reece James as a priority and submitted a bid to Lyon for 19-year-old Gusto on Monday, which is believed to have been knocked back.
It is expected that Chelsea will make a new offer and interest in the France Under-21 international is part of a strategic plan to provide James with cover and competition from someone with the right age and profile.
James is now close to returning from injury, but his absence has exposed a huge hole in the Chelsea squad.
Head coach Graham Potter has been forced to use central defender Trevoh Chalobah as a makeshift right-back after captain Cesar Azpilicueta struggled to fill in for James.
Gusto has a similar profile to James in that he is an offensive right-back who often plays more like a winger and relies heavily on his pace and athleticism.
Lyon would ideally like to keep Gusto until the end of the season, when the player will have one year remaining on his contract, but Chelsea want him now and are expected to make a second bid for the player.
Laurence Stuart, who officially starts work as one of Chelsea’s technical directors in February, has extensive knowledge of Ligue 1 from his time at Monaco.
Chelsea have already raided Ligue 1 once this month to sign Benoit Badiashile from Stuart’s old club Monaco and the defender already looks like he could prove to be a bargain at £35m.
Chelsea eye Everton duo
Everton sacked head coach Frank Lampard on Monday and, sensing an opportunity, Chelsea are considering whether or not to try to take advantage of the crisis that has gripped the Goodison Park club.
Gordon was the subject of at least one bid from Chelsea last summer and the England Under-21 international is expected to leave Everton before the January transfer window shuts.
Newcastle are interested in signing Gordon, but Telegraph Sport understands that the 21-year-old remains on Chelsea’s radar and the Londoners have considered making a bid that could involve sending him back to Everton on loan.
Chelsea are fully aware of Everton’s Financial Fair Play issues and need to raise cash, which has also led to them showing an interest in midfielder Onana, who only moved to Goodison Park from Lille in the summer.
Everton would be highly reluctant to sell Onana, even with their financial problems, but Chelsea could again look at making a bid that would involve the 21-year-old seeing out the season where he is.
Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech is a player that Everton are interested in, although the in-form Morocco international is also being chased by clubs in Italy.
Chelsea are in the market to sign at least one new midfielder before the transfer window shuts and want to refresh the position over the long-term as well.
Bids have been rejected for Fernandez and Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, but the expectation is that Chelsea will make a new offer for one or both of those players before the window shuts.
Benfica are braced for a new bid for Fernandez, who Chelsea made an initial offer worth £70million for. The Argentine’s contract contains a £106m release clause.
Having also made an inquiry for Yves Bissouma that Tottenham Hotspurs did not give them any encouragement over, Chelsea will also consider temporary midfield options if they cannot land any of their top targets with Barcelona’s Franck Kessie a possible loan target.