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Chelsea plotting new Fernandez approach

Chelsea are plotting a new approach for Benfica Enzo Fernandez.

They made an initial approach to sign the defensive midfielder who was named Young Player of the Tournament at the Qatar World Cup, where he played for the winners Argentina, but that was rejected after the two clubs failed to agree terms.

One of the main sticking points was the structure of the deal. Benfica wanted the entire fee – which could be in excess of £100 million up front – whereas Chelsea wanted to stagger the payment.

However, defensive midfield remains a key priority for Chelsea, with N’Golo Kanté now injury prone, and Jorginho ageing, so they are considering making another bid to sign the 22 year old.

News that UEFA are considering tightening the FFP loophole that has enabled Chelsea to circumvent lhe existing rule by signing players on long contracts, allowing them to amortise their cost of acquisition over a number of years, could give fresh impetus to attempts to get a deal done sooner rather than later.

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