Report: Boehly tried to sign Serie A star on deadline day while his team ‘fine-tuned’ Fernandez deal
Todd Boehly reportedly tried to sign Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat on deadline day while other Chelsea board members negotiated the deal to acquire Enzo Fernandez.
Amrabat was one of the most impressive midfielders at the World Cup in Qatar, helping Morocco become the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of the tournament.
He returned to Fiorentina with his head held high and quickly became the subject of many transfer rumours.
Liverpool were reportedly keen on signing him with Jurgen Klopp eager to bring in midfield reinforcements.
Amrabat ended up staying in Florence, though there were several attempts to prise him away from the Serie A club.
Deadline day was a hectic 24 hours for the Moroccan international and Fiorentina, with interest coming from Barcelona and Chelsea.
According to Fabrizio Romano, the La Liga giants tried to sign Amrabat until the end of the season, offering a €4million loan fee plus an option to buy for €40m.
However, Fiorentina believed this offer was ‘impossible to accept’, particularly with the transfer window hours away from closing.
Barcelona were keen on a loan deal as they could not sign him permanently or include an obligation to buy due to Financial Fair Play regulations.
The 26-year-old reportedly skipped training on Tuesday in order to force a move to the Nou Camp, Romano claimed.
Barca were not alone in making a last-gasp attempt to sign Amrabat, as per The New York Times.
‘Chelsea wanted to take Amrabat on loan’ despite Fiorentina’s desire to keep hold of the player, the report claims.
While Behdad Eghbali ‘was fine-tuning the structure’ of the deal to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica, Boehly ‘decided to personally follow up on an e-mail a member of the club’s recruitment staff’ had sent to Fiorentina.
Given the timing of the approach and the importance of Amrabat, the Italian club unsurprisingly told the American businessman that a deal would not be possible.
If a sale was to happen, Fiorentina would need to receive a ‘premium fee’, with a loan deal for their star player making no sense whatsoever.
The Florence outfit asked for a ‘eight-figure’ fee, which Boehly felt was ‘unreasonable’.
A Fiorentina executive responded by asking Boehly ‘how he would feel if some other club turned up on the final day of the transfer window and tried to poach one of Chelsea’s most valuable assets on the cheap’.
The call and negotiations between the two parties then ended ‘abruptly’, the report adds.
Missing out on Amrabat was a rare miss for Boehly and his crew.
Chelsea signed eight players for nearly £300m in January alone. They broke the British record transfer fee by bringing in Fernandez for over £100m.
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