Chelsea transfer news: Record bid made for Enzo Fernandez, Conor Gallagher and Jorginho may leave
Sitting tenth in the Premier League after a stuttering season, it’s been a familiar tale of heavy spending at Chelsea FC this January - and there may yet be at least one more signing to come.
In a busy month of incomings, Mykhailo Mudryk was signed from under the nose of Arsenal, Benoit Badiashile arrived from Monaco and Joao Felix joined on loan from Monaco, leaving Graham Potter with plenty of options as he tries to right a campaign of fits and starts.
A World Cup star could yet be arriving, too, which may necessitate a late January trim at the fringes to ensure a large squad is kept content.
That World Cup star is Enzo Fernandez, named as the Best Young Player after helping Argentina to victory in Qatar. Benfica, quite understandably recognising the value of a much coveted individual, are demanding that Chelsea pay Fernandez’s release fee of £106m, according to Miguel Delaney, The Independent’s Chief Football Writer.
Delaney adds that Chelsea could yet switch their attentions to Brighton’s Moises Caicedo if they are frustrated in their pursuit of Fernandez. A prominent target for Arsenal, the Ecuadorian has asked his current club not to stand in the way of a potential move, describing it as a “magnificent opportunity” - but the south coast side have rejected two bids from the Premier League leaders and would be similarly reluctant to let Caicedo follow Graham Potter to Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal are interested in signing the Chelsea midfielder Jorginho, whose place at Stamford Bridge would be uncertain if the Blues sign Fernandez or Caicedo. The Italy international is out of contract this summer and has been hesitant to commit to a new deal.
Arsenal are looking to sign midfielder cover before the deadline and manager Mikel Arteta is said to be an admirer of the 31-year-old. Chelsea would demand a fee for Jorginho but they risk losing him for free if he does not sign a new contract before the summer.
One midfielder in, one midfielder out? Conor Gallagher looked set for a prominent role in the Chelsea first team this season after performing well on loan with Crystal Palace during the last campaign, but the 22-year-old is yet to truly flourish under Potter. He could be allowed to depart in January if Fernandez is procured.
A return to Crystal Palace or a move to Newcastle shape as likely options, but Fabrizio Romano believes that Everton are active bidders after having their coffers boosted by the sale of one-time Chelsea target Anthony Gordon.
Another player potentially now surplus to immediate requirements is Hakim Ziyech. The tricky wide player was a rumoured target for all of West Ham, Roma, Everton, Newcastle and Aston Villa, but Paris Saint-Germain have emerged as front runners to sign the Morocco international.
Xavier Simons’ loan spell at Hull could become a permanent deal, according to reports, with Liam Rosenior enjoying working with the 19-year-old midfielder.
“I love the kid, I think he’s got a great future in the game,” the Hull manager told BBC Humberside earlier in January. “He’s someone I enjoy working with, and want to work with in the long-term.”
Rosenior may be wise to conclude a deal swiftly - fellow Championship clubs Millwall, Burnley, and Bristol City could all be attempting to lure Simons their way, according to the Evening Standard.