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Home » Enzo Fernandez latest, Chelsea transfer priorities and what Graham Potter must do to save season

Enzo Fernandez latest, Chelsea transfer priorities and what Graham Potter must do to save season

It’s not quite been the start to 2023 many Chelsea supporters hoped for. A frustrating draw with Nottingham Forest was followed up with a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League. Meanwhile, off the pitch, the Blues have been left frustrated in their rather public pursuit of Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez.

Negotiations with the Portuguese giants over a deal for the midfielder, who helped Argentina win the World Cup last month, began before the January transfer window had even opened. Yet despite much noise and speculation, no agreement has been reached and Benfica head coach Roger Schmidt has hit out at Chelsea’s conduct.

“What the club is doing who wants Enzo, it’s disrespectful against all of us, against Benfica and I cannot accept what they are doing,” said Schmidt. “To make the player crazy and pretend they can pay the clause, only to then later want to negotiate, I think is not what I understand about a good relationship between clubs who maybe want to discuss about the player.”

Benfica’s stance has not changed: Fernandez will leave if his release clause is paid. It is now very much up to Chelsea as to whether they are willing to pay – or come up with a payment structure that suits the Eagles.

Further deals are being explored by Chelsea, who confirmed the signing of Benoit Badiashile yesterday and are set to announce the arrival of Brazilian youngster Andrey Santos in the coming days. A right-back is believed to be on the club’s wishlist while the arrival of another forward shouldn’t be ruled out.

On the pitch, things are not going well for Graham Potter. Yet there were positive signs against Manchester City and perhaps a roadmap as to how Chelsea can use this season to build toward future success. A top-four finish remains the target, but the Blues are currently tenth in the table.

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