Chelsea completed an extraordinary spending spree by landing World Cup star Enzo Fernandez from Benfica, the biggest deal of transfer deadline day.

It was Premier League clubs that featured front and centre as big-name players found new homes on Tuesday, with Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City kept busy.

Deals struck on this day can be born of desperation; however, if the right player becomes available, those that jump at the opportunity to reinforce might be thankful they took that choice come May.

Here Stats Perform assesses five deals that went through and could prove hugely significant come the season's end.

Enzo Fernandez: Benfica to Chelsea, £106.8million

A World Cup wonder for Argentina, Fernandez's stock soared over four weeks in Qatar, to the point he became linked to the wealthiest clubs in Europe.

It was Chelsea owner Todd Boehly who lasted the distance in the race for his signature, adding Fernandez to the previous window deals for Mykhaylo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana, Joao Felix, Noni Madueke and Malo Gusto.

Fernandez has only played half a season in Europe after moving to Benfica from River Plate, so there is an element of risk in Chelsea's investment, regardless of his national team performances alongside Lionel Messi and co.

He has played five Champions League group games, and the 22-year-old has looked the part, with his arrival handing Graham Potter another expensive plaything. This means there can be no excuses now for the head coach as he looks to turn the Blues into a winning machine.

Marcel Sabitzer: Bayern Munich to Manchester United (loan)

Bayern Munich decided they could afford to part company with Sabitzer, with the former RB Leipzig midfielder jetting out to secure a move to Manchester United, swapping one European giant for another.

It was reported Erik ten Hag fancied Ryan Gravenberch, his former Ajax player, but Bayern were said to have resisted that interest and instead allowed United to take Austria international Sabitzer.

He emerged as a surprising spare part for Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann, with Sabitzer having featured in 23 games for the Bundesliga leaders this season, albeit starting only 11 times.

Ten Hag will certainly like the fact Sabitzer has a duel success rate of 58.77 per cent – the highest of his career – this season.

He is not a like-for-like replacement for the injured Christian Eriksen, but Sabitzer brings his own qualities, will want to prove a point, and should not let United down over the coming four months.

 

Jorginho: Chelsea to Arsenal, £12million

Arsenal wanted Moises Caicedo and were prepared to pay a king's ransom for the Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder. They settled for Jorginho, a Euro 2020 champion with Italy and Champions League winner with Chelsea, paying a small fraction of the fee they would have had to spend on Caicedo.

A deal worth around £12million looks sensible business, and Jorginho makes the jump from 10th-placed Chelsea to the table-topping Gunners, seeking the first domestic league title of his career.

He played 25 games this season for the Blues, scoring three penalties but not managing any goals other than those spot-kicks, nor any assists.

Some Arsenal fans have grumbled over the signing, but Jorginho brings defensive qualities and experience of winning, which for Arsenal in recent years has been in short supply.

Joao Cancelo: Manchester City to Bayern Munich (loan with option to buy)

Bayern brought in goalkeeper Yann Sommer earlier in the window after Manuel Neuer suffered a season-ending broken leg. That was a deal that many saw coming, but the move for Cancelo came out of the sky blue, reportedly after a disagreement with Pep Guardiola saw City happy to offload the full-back.

It went through on Tuesday, opening up the possibility of Cancelo being a Premier League and Bundesliga winner in the same season.

He looks set to feature at right-back for Bayern, with Alphonso Davies featuring on the left. It means Bayern will have a pair of attacking full-backs that will put the fear up opponents.

With Bayern in a slump, drawing their past three Bundesliga games, it felt important for there to be a new face coming in. Cancelo, until very recently a favourite of Guardiola, is used to winning things with City so should fit in well at Sabener Strasse.

Pedro Porro: Sporting CP to Tottenham (loan with obligation to buy)

Three and a half years since he joined Manchester City, Porro should finally make his debut in English football after being recruited to fill the right-back role for Antonio Conte at Spurs.

This has the makings of a masterstroke signing, with Spain international Porro having caught Spurs' eye in the Champions League group stage earlier this season. He previously played for Real Valladolid while farmed out on loan from City, for whom he never played a competitive senior game.

He represents an upgrade on Matt Doherty, who was released to join Atletico Madrid, and may have the edge on Emerson Royal, with Conte bringing in a player with serious defensive and attacking qualities.

Among defenders with 10 or more appearances and at least 10 tackles, Porro's 78.95 per cent tackle success rate ranks as the sixth-best in the Portuguese Primeira Liga this season.

Meanwhile, only one defender, Benfica's Alejandro Grimaldo, has created more chances than Porro's 34 from 14 games, which have brought him six assists.

Porro ranks second among defenders in the Portuguese top flight for the most crosses played too, with 108 to Grimaldo's 116. Significantly, though, Porro has played 526 minutes fewer than Grimaldo, illustrating how effective the Spurs new boy has been when on the pitch.

Football can feel like a Formula One race at times, with things moving so rapidly that if you blink for a second, you could miss something.

For example, few would have been able to predict six months ago that in January 2023, a player called Enzo Fernandez would be joining Chelsea for a British-record transfer fee of £106.8million (€121m).

Not even many Benfica fans knew much about the midfielder when he arrived from River Plate for a reported fee of €12m in July.

Fernandez had been making a name for himself in his home country, with a loan spell at Defensa y Justicia under former Chelsea and Argentina striker Hernan Crespo convincing River Plate to give him a chance, which he took.

After 52 appearances for Los Millonarios, interest from Europe saw Fernandez linked with some big names, and it was Benfica who took the plunge.

The Lisbon club will be pleased they did after making a profit of well over €100m after just half a season, with the midfielder not only impressing in the Primeira Liga and Champions League, but also starring for Argentina as they lifted the World Cup in Qatar last month, with Fernandez claiming the FIFA Best Young Player of the Tournament award.

Is he really worth all that money, though?

Chelsea clearly think so, and in Fernandez they have bought a player who will feel like a dream come true for head coach Graham Potter.

In his time at Brighton and Hove Albion, Potter delighted in building midfields that could dominate the ball, that could keep hold of possession while also making incisive passes to turn the opposition around.

Despite being one of the smaller clubs in the Premier League, Potter's Brighton averaged 54.3 per cent possession in league games in 2021-22 (only Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea had more), while averaging 496 passes per game, and 59 passes into the final third per game (sixth in the league for both metrics).

Only Man City, Arsenal and, funnily enough, Brighton have a higher possession average than Chelsea since Potter took charge at Stamford Bridge in September, while only City have attempted more passes than the Blues, which will be where Fernandez comes in.

The man who only turned 22 earlier on January 17 is a passing machine, having completed 1,431 in total in just 17 Primeira Liga games, over 200 more than the player with the next most in the Portuguese top-flight.

It is not simply quantity over quality either, as Fernandez has also made 248 passes into the final third, at least 51 more than any other player.

Not only do they lead the league in terms of the table, but Benfica are also league leaders in averages for possession (66.0 per cent), passes per game (623) and passes ending in the final third per game (70.6). Their style enables Fernandez, but in turn, his ability allows them to execute it, which must have Potter salivating. 

Fernandez showed similar form in the Champions League as Benfica surprisingly won a group that included Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, before going on to star in the World Cup as well.

Several big clubs had already taken a shine to him, but the astonishing figure shelled out for him by Chelsea was no doubt rubber-stamped after his performances in Qatar, with Fernandez leading all players in the epic final between Argentina and France for touches (118), successful passes (77) and tackles (10). His 10 tackles were the most of any player in a World Cup final since Gennaro Gattuso in 2006 (15).

But is he better than what Chelsea already have?

In the Blues' midfield this season, Mateo Kovacic leads the way in terms of number of passes per 90 in Premier League games (69.0), ahead of Jorginho (61.7), with no other player to have played more than five games averaging even 50.

Fernandez has been averaging 84.18 successful passes per game in Portugal, though consideration must be given to the difference in strength between the Premier League and Primeira Liga. In fact, it is the second-most of any midfielder in any of Europe's top 10 leagues this season, behind only Manchester City's Rodri (84.58), and ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's Marco Verratti (78.06) and Real Madrid's Toni Kroos (74.53).

There is also the Argentine's creativity to take into account, with Chelsea struggling to score goals this season having only managed 22 in 20 league games so far.

In league games, of those to have played more than twice, Conor Gallagher is averaging the most chances created from open play of Potter's midfield options at 1.59 per game, followed by Carney Chukwuemeka (1.38) and Mason Mount (1.24). Fernandez has averaged 1.62 per game.

When you consider that Potter already had Kovacic, Mount, Gallagher, N'Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Denis Zakaria, Lewis Hall and Chukwuemeka to choose from, with Jorginho having departed for Arsenal on deadline day, you might think spending nine figures on another midfielder to be somewhat indulgent.

With the early promise and potential trajectory of Fernandez though, Chelsea have quite probably taken the next step in a long-term rebuild. Jorginho and Kante are both 31 years old and out of contract at the end of the season, and investing in the future rather than the past makes sense for a team that always wants to be challenging for the biggest trophies.

With great spending comes great expectations though, and the pressure will be immense on Fernandez to not just shine on the big stage, but to do so immediately.

Chelsea's newest addition could justifiably insist he has done just that with every challenge thrown at him in a short space of time, including the biggest challenge of winning the World Cup.

Enzo will no doubt back himself to prove he can live up to the price tag and be the Ferrari that Graham Potter needs.

Enzo Fernandez has finally signed for Chelsea, becoming the Premier League's record signing after the Blues met his £106.8million (€121m) release clause at Benfica.

Fernandez, who was named Young Player of the Tournament after helping Argentina win the 2022 World Cup, was strongly linked with Chelsea earlier in the transfer window before talks broke down.

However, the big-spending Blues went back in for him with the end of the window drawing closer, signing Fernandez to a long-term contract – rumoured to run until 2032 – with confirmation arriving an hour and a half after the transfer window closed.

Chelsea submitted the relevant paperwork in time and Benfica were first to announce details of the deal on their official website on Wednesday.

His arrival takes Chelsea's spending to a reported £288.5m (€328.5m) in January alone, with the midfielder becoming their eighth signing of the window.

Fernandez only joined Benfica from River Plate last year but has played a starring role for them since making that move, helping the Portuguese giants top their Champions League group.

He had looked likely to remain in Lisbon at least until the end of the season, but Chelsea revisited the deal with head coach Graham Potter reportedly keen for midfield reinforcements.

The fee surpasses the previous Premier League transfer record, set by Jack Grealish's £100m switch from Aston Villa to Manchester City in 2021.

Fernandez could make his Chelsea debut against Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Friday, as the Blues look to climb the table after a poor run of form saw them drop to 10th position. 

A dogged competitor with an eye for the magnificent, Fernandez featured in all seven of Argentina's games in Qatar, starting five of them after he came off the bench to net a superb goal against Mexico in the group stage.

 

Fernandez's ability on the ball, as well as his tenacity, will add a new facet to Potter's midfield options.

Only 11 players carried the ball further than Fernandez (1,239.7 metres) at the World Cup, while just 10 were involved in more shot-ending sequences than his 27.

Fernandez boasted a duel success rate of 58.8 per cent, winning 40 of his 68 engagements at the tournament.

He made just 17 league appearances during his short stint with Benfica, though he also featured in five group games in the Champions League.

Enzo Fernandez has finally signed for Chelsea, becoming the Premier League's record signing after the Blues met his £106.8million (€121m) release clause at Benfica.

Fernandez, who was named Young Player of the Tournament after helping Argentina win the 2022 World Cup, was strongly linked with Chelsea earlier in the transfer window before talks broke down.

However, the big-spending Blues went back in for him with the end of the window drawing closer, signing Fernandez to a long-term contract – rumoured to run until 2032 – with confirmation arriving an hour and a half after the transfer window closed.

Chelsea submitted the relevant paperwork in time and Benfica were first to announce details of the deal on their official website on Wednesday.

His arrival takes Chelsea's spending to a reported £288.5m (€328.5m) this month alone, with the midfielder becoming their eighth signing of the January transfer window.

Fernandez only joined Benfica from River Plate last year but has played a starring role for them since making that move, helping the Portuguese giants top their Champions League group.

He had looked likely to remain in Lisbon at least until the end of the season, but Chelsea revisited the deal with head coach Graham Potter reportedly keen for midfield reinforcements.

The fee surpasses the previous Premier League transfer record, set by Jack Grealish's £100m switch from Aston Villa to Manchester City in 2021.

Fernandez could make his Chelsea debut against Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Friday, as the Blues look to climb the table after a poor run of form saw them drop to 10th position. 

A dogged competitor with an eye for the magnificent, Fernandez featured in all seven of Argentina's games in Qatar, starting five of them after he came off the bench to net a superb goal against Mexico in the group stage.

 

Fernandez's ability on the ball, as well as his tenacity, will add a new facet to Potter's midfield options.

Only 11 players carried the ball further than Fernandez (1,239.7 metres) at the World Cup, while just 10 were involved in more shot-ending sequences than his 27.

Fernandez boasted a duel success rate of 58.8 per cent, winning 40 of his 68 engagements at the tournament.

He made just 17 league appearances during his short stint with Benfica, though he also featured in five group games in the Champions League.

Europe's elite clubs raced to beat the January transfer deadline as Pedro Porro signed for Tottenham and Enzo Fernandez neared a record Premier League move when the window slammed shut.

Argentina's World Cup winner Fernandez appeared set to complete a long-awaited move to Chelsea in a record-breaking Premier League transfer.

While Chelsea aimed to bring in the youthful Fernandez, veteran Italy international Jorginho departed as he joined Arsenal after Mikel Arteta's side were unable to secure Brighton and Hove Albion's Moises Caicedo.

Manchester United also looked to strengthen their midfield with a loan deal for Bayern Munich's Sabitzer after an injury to key playmaker Christian Eriksen at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, Tottenham solidified their defensive options by snaffling Spanish wing-back Porro from Sporting CP after lengthy negotiations.

Stats Perform provides a rundown of the notable deals as the mid-season transfer window finally closed.

 

BOEHLY BREAKS RECORD FOR FERNANDEZ

Fernandez emerged as a target for Chelsea following his influential displays for Argentina during their World Cup triumph in Qatar and the Blues' Todd Boehly-led consortium appear to have finally got their man. 

After already snatching Mykhaylo Mudryk from under the noses of Arsenal, Chelsea are set to splash a reported £105.5million (€120m) on Fernandez from Benfica.

That would break the Premier League record of £100m Manchester City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish, as the Blues looked to secure the former River Plate midfielder on a reported seven-and-a-half-year contract.

ARSENAL'S CAICEDO BLUES CURED BY JORGINHO

Arteta and Arsenal's pursuit of Caicedo fell on deaf ears as Brighton refused to budge, despite the Gunners lodging a reported £70m bid for the 21-year-old.

After missing out on primary midfield target Caicedo, Jorginho switched the blue shirt of Chelsea for the red of Arsenal as he completed a reported £12m transfer to the Premier League leaders.

The 31-year-old will provide able competition for the impressive Thomas Partey after penning an 18-month contract at Emirates Stadium.

TEN HAG FINDS ERIKSEN COVER IN SABITZER

With Eriksen ruled out for three months, Erik ten Hag and United acted swiftly to attempt to bring in experienced midfielder Sabitzer on a short-term loan.

Opportunities had been hard to come by for the Austria international after joining Bayern from Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig ahead of the 2021-22 season.

He started just 15 times in his 40 appearances for the Bundesliga champions, though he may now have the chance to impress in the Premier League with Ten Hag's resurgent Red Devils.

CONTE GETS PORRO AS DOHERTY AND SPENCE DEPART

It appeared Tottenham may not secure the services of attack-minded wing-back Porro, formerly of Girona and Manchester City, after it seemed negotiations had come to a halt with Sporting.

But Spurs confirmed the 23-year-old's arrival late on, with Porro signing a five-and-a-half-year deal after a reported £40m (€45m) move from Sporting, who signed Barcelona's Hector Bellerin as a replacement.

That transfer saw Djed Spence, who only signed from Middlesbrough in a deal worth up to £20m in July, sent out to Ligue 1's Rennes for the rest of the season on loan.

Fellow full-back Matt Doherty also made way as he joined Atletico Madrid on a six-month contract, with Spurs terminating the 31-year-old's contract to "enable him to join another club".

OTHER DEALS

Bournemouth paid their second-highest transfer fee in history for Illya Zabarnyi, parting with a reported £24m (€27.2m) for the Ukraine centre-back from Dynamo Kyiv.

Gary O'Neil's Bournemouth added a second signing soon after, confirming the arrival of Sassuolo midfielder Hamed Traore on a loan that will become permanent on a five-year deal in June.

Nottingham Forest continued their spending after signing Atletico centre-back Felipe on a deal that will run until 2024, while Jonjo Shelvey also arrived from Newcastle United on a deal until 2025, and a move for Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas on loan was reportedly nearing.

Patrick Vieira's Crystal Palace bolstered their midfield by bringing in Naouirou Ahamada for a reported £10.5m (€12m) fee from Stuttgart, while Arsenal's Albert Sambi Lokonga joined on a six-month loan.

Leeds United's Diego Llorente joined Jose Mourinho's Roma on loan until the end of the season, with an option for a permanent transfer reportedly worth €18m (£15.9m).

Ayoze Perez is another Premier League player who will spend the second half of the term on loan, with the Leicester City forward moving to LaLiga side Real Betis.

Aleksandar Mitrovic's Serbia team-mate Sasa Lukic traded Torino for Fulham in a transfer reportedly worth £8.8m (€10m) including add-ons, signing a contract until June 2027.

Lukic will likely be joined by Arsenal full-back Cedric Soares after Marco Silva's side reportedly agreed to bring the former Southampton defender on a six-month loan.

Outside of England, Borussia Dortmund and Belgium midfielder Thorgan Hazard completed a short-term loan move to Eredivisie title hopefuls PSV.

There's only a matter of hours to go before the January transfer window shuts for good, with multiple moves already in the can and plenty potentially still to come.

Chelsea's pursuit of Argentina's World Cup-winning midfielder Enzo Fernandez for a Premier League record fee from Benfica remains up in the air. 

The Blues look set to confirm the exit of Italy's Euro 2020 victor Jorginho to rivals Arsenal though before time runs out at the end of play on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Manchester City have confirmed the loan exit of Joao Cancelo to Bayern Munich, while Inter's raid for Manchester United's Harry Maguire looks a no-go.

But the Red Devils are hopeful of sealing a deal for Bayern's Marcel Sabitzer, following a potential season-ending injury for Christian Eriksen.

Stats Perform runs the rule over what has happened and what could still be before the deadline.

 

BLUES REMAIN IN RECORD PURSUIT FOR WORLD CUP WINNER FERNANDEZ

Graham Potter's side have already been handed an eye-watering war chest by Todd Boehly since his takeover, and they show no signs of slowing down their spending.

A move for Enzo Fernandez, whose stock rose after his performances alongside Lionel Messi as he led Argentina to World Cup glory, has been on the cards all month.

But the hefty release clause set by Benfica has forced Chelsea to table what would be a Premier League record bid of £105.6million (€120m) if successful. 

That would overtake the fee Manchester City paid out for Jack Grealish from Aston Villa, though issues remain over how the payment would be delivered to the Portuguese club.

JORGINHO READY TO LEAP ACROSS LONDON

With one player potentially set to arrive, another is almost certain to have their departure confirmed in the coming hours at Stamford Bridge.

That is Italy international Jorginho, who is set to trade the Blues for Premier League leaders Arsenal on an 18-month deal.

The move to bring in the veteran playmaker with a proven track record for silverware echoes the swoop the Gunners made for Gabriel Jesus from Man City last year.

It would be Arsenal's third permanent capture of the window, following the signings of Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior, and likely signals the end of their pursuit of Brighton and Hove Albion's Moses Caicedo for now.

CITY CONFIRM CANCELO EXIT TO BAYERN

The writing may have been on the wall for longer than many realised when it came to Joao Cancelo's future at the Etihad Stadium.

The player has denied a reported bust-up with Pep Guardiola following his return from the World Cup, though Cancelo had slipped down the pecking order with the Premier League champions in recent games.

The Portugal international will hope for a fresh start with Bayern, where he has joined on a loan through the end of the season with a reported buy option at €70m (£61.5m).

UNITED HOLD ONTO MAGUIRE AMID SABITZER PURSUIT

The future of Man Utd club captain Harry Maguire has long been a point of consternation for supporters, though his recent cup performances suggest he still has a role to play.

Despite slipping to fifth in the centre-back pecking order, the England defender appears to be an option head coach Erik ten Hag wishes to retain, dashing the interest of Serie A heavyweights Inter.

But with the news Christian Eriksen will miss most of the rest of the season through injury, United are exploring a move for Austria international Marcel Sabitzer to help plug the gap.

Chelsea have splashed the cash this month and could break the Premier League record by landing Enzo Fernandez before the transfer window closes on Tuesday.

The Blues have already spent big to bring Mykhailo Mudryk to Stamford Bridge, while Noni Madueke, Joao Felix and Benoit Badiashile are among their other recruits.

Fernandez could follow from Benfica on what promises to be a busy deadline day as clubs across Europe scramble to get late deals done.

It remains to be seen if Arsenal can tempt Brighton and Hove Albion to part with Moises Caicedo.

Joao Cancelo looks set to swap Manchester City for Bayern Munich on loan and Paris Saint-Germain could finally seal a deal for long-time target Milan Skriniar along with Hakim Ziyech.

Stats Perform has picked out the standout transfers that could go through before the deadline.

 

BLUES TO SHOW THE COLOUR OF THEIR MONEY FOR WORLD-CUP WINNER?

Fernandez emerged as a target for Chelsea following his influential displays for Argentina during their World Cup triumph in Qatar.

The London club have wasted no time in building a new-look squad since a Todd Boehly-led consortium completed a takeover and Graham Potter arrived as head coach.

They have already made huge statements this month, none more so than snaring winger Mudryk from under the noses of Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Chelsea are working on trying to secure the services of Fernandez for a reported fee of £105.5million (€120m), which would break the Premier League record of £100m City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish.

CAICEDO A NO-GO?

Arsenal have already raided Brighton to bring wantaway winger Leonadro Trossard to the capital.

The Gunners have failed with big-money offers for centre midfielder Caicedo, who last week made it clear he wants to join the Premier League leaders.

Arsenal are said to be ready to test the Seagulls' resolve again on deadline-day with a third bid of £75m, but Brighton want to keep him for the rest of the season.

If they do not get an offer they cannot refuse, Arsenal could turn to Leicester City's Youri Tielemans or Chelsea's Jorginho.

CANCELO BAYERN-BOUND

Eyebrows were raised on Monday when it came to light that Bayern are poised to bring Cancelo to the Bundesliga from City.

The Portugal full-back Cancelo has fallen out of favour at the Etihad Stadium, having reportedly had a bust-up with Pep Guardiola.

A loan deal would be great business for Bayern as they hunt more trophies and this one is expected to go through.

PSG'S SKRINIAR PERSISTENCE COULD PAY OFF, ZIYECH TO FOLLOW?

While Bayern's move for Cancelo has come late in the window, Skriniar has long since been a target for PSG.

The Inter centre-back is only under contract at the end of the season and with the Serie A giants unable to tie him to a deal, it has been seemingly only a matter of time before he moves on.

PSG should finally get their man before the window closes, with the defender having already confirmed he has agreed terms with the Ligue 1 champions. Chelsea winger Ziyech could also be on his way to the French capital.

Roger Schmidt acknowledges Benfica may be helpless to stop World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez leaving the club as reports of Chelsea's interest persist.

Argentina midfielder Fernandez has been linked with the Premier League club throughout the January transfer window after catching the eye at Qatar 2022.

Benfica coach Schmidt was frustrated by Chelsea's attempts to sign Fernandez earlier in the window when it was claimed they did not intend to pay his £105million (€120m) release clause.

Schmidt, who dropped Fernandez for one match, said the Blues were trying to "drive the player crazy" as it appeared he was keen to make the move.

Yet it was suggested on Monday a bid had been lodged that would see Chelsea match the £105m clause, giving Benfica no option but to allow their prized asset to leave.

The Portuguese giants are top of the Primeira Liga and through to a last-16 Champions League tie against Club Brugge, and Schmidt believes they are set for their next move if Fernandez departs ahead of Tuesday's transfer deadline.

"I think we always have to prepare everything in the background, especially at the end of the transfer window, and especially when you are not in the driver's seat," Schmidt said on Monday.

"So, we all know that we have a situation with Enzo that he has a clause in the contract. That means if the player wants and there's a club that pays this amount of money, you cannot stop that.

"Of course, for this moment, you have to be prepared and you have to find solutions. But at the moment, he is our player, he's still there, so there is no deal.

"We will see what happens in the next two days. Then I'm happy when the transfer window is closed and we can focus completely on our players in the squad and we can try to play a top season."

Despite removing Fernandez from the team at the start of the month, Schmidt has no concerns around the player's mentality now.

"Of course, he gets our full support," the coach added. "He's a great person and a great player, and I think I said everything about that topic.

"I already said a few times that as long as the transfer window is open, you always have to expect that something can happen. It's the same with the Enzo topic.

"So, we will see what happens in the next two days. But my mindset hasn't changed in the last weeks. I really appreciate after the discussions at the beginning of January that he was able to focus again on Benfica.

"I think he played top games for Benfica, which shows what I said before – that his attitude towards Benfica is 100 per cent.

"But we know also how the football business is. I think I'm always very honest, as honest as possible, to you here in the press conference. That's the situation. I cannot say anything more about this topic."

Barcelona feel Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves has one foot out of the door and are optimistic about their chance of signing him at the end of the season.

Neves, 25, has spent the past six seasons with Wolves after arriving during their last season in the Championship (2017-18), racking up over 200 appearances for the club along with 28 goals.

The central midfielder, a regular for Portugal, has caught the eye of Europe's elite clubs.

Wolves had been hopeful of extending Neves' stay at the club, but with their future in the Premier League in doubt, they might have already started to plan for life without him.

 

TOP STORY – WOLVES SIGNING INDICATES LOOMING NEVES DEPARTURE

According to Sport, Barcelona believe Wolves are signing 21-year-old Flamengo midfielder Joao Gomes as a direct replacement for Neves, who they expect to leave at the end of the season.

The report states Barcelona know what it will cost to pry him away from the Premier League and are comfortable with the price, which is said to be "much more feasible" than the €60million price tag for Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi.

Real Madrid are also expected to pursue Neves, who they reportedly feel has "the potential to become the new Casemiro".

 

ROUND-UP

– The Telegraph and Fabrizio Romano state Chelsea will make another run at signing 22-year-old Benfica and Argentina standout Enzo Fernandez, and are willing to meet the £105m (€120m) release clause if they can pay it in installments.

– According to Bild, Tottenham have submitted a £22m (€25m) verbal offer to Bayer Leverkusen for 21-year-old Ecuador centre-back Piero Hincapie.

Newcastle United have had their latest £20m offer for 18-year-old Flamengo midfielder Matheus Franca turned down, per Fabrizio Romano.

– Newcastle are also said to be looking to replace Jonjo Shelvey, who is set to join Nottingham Forest, with Sheffield United's Sander Berge.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Brighton and Hove Albion have rejected a £70m approach from Arsenal for 21-year-old midfielder Moises Caicedo, and are holding out for £80m.

– According to Sport, there is mutual interest between Barca and Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix, who will spend the rest of the season on loan at Chelsea.

Chelsea have spent plenty of money on recruitment during the January transfer window, landing Mykhaylo Mudryk, Noni Madueka, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana and Benoit Badiashile.

But the Blues may not be done with transfer activity before Tuesday's window closure.

Chelsea are still eager to bolster their midfield options, having missed out on a few key targets.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA TO MOVE FOR EVERTON MIDFIELDER

Chelsea will move to sign unsettled Everton defensive midfielder Amadou Onana, according to The Times.

The Blues will divert their attention to the Senegal-born Belgium international after missing out on Benfica's Enzo Fernandez and Brighton and Hove Albion's Moises Caicedo.

Onana was given a leave of absence from Everton training earlier this week and is unhappy given the club's plight with Frank Lampard sacked as manager this week.

 

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Ferran Torres could be sold by Barcelona in the off-season, despite only joining the Blaugrana in January last year, reports Sport. Barca have ignored offers for the forward in January, despite some clubs wanting him on loan while the report links Atletico Madrid with the 22-year-old.

Milan are monitoring the status of Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo, according to The Sun. The Portuguese has struggled for games since the World Cup and could be open to a move.

Tottenham are getting closer to completing a deal for Sporting full-back Pedro Porro, reports The Guardian. Sporting are determined to recoup his buyout clause of €45 million (£39.7m), with talks, ongoing since the start of the month, getting towards a conclusion.

– Fabrizio Romano claims Weston McKennie has agreed personal terms with Leeds United however the move hinges on negotiations with Juventus about the transfer fee. Leeds' opening bid was €28m, but the Bianconeri want €35m.

– Everton are plotting a shock £25m move to sign Chelsea's Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech, claims Sky Sports. Roma are also interested in the 29-year-old too, while PSG are keeping tabs on him, according to Media Foot.

Nottingham Forest are weighing up a bid to sign 28-year-old Italian midfielder Roberto Gagliardini from Inter, claims Calciomercato.

Enzo Fernandez will remain a Benfica player beyond the end of the January transfer window, according to the Portuguese giants' head coach Roger Schmidt.

The Argentina midfielder has been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea throughout the month, but Benfica are reportedly insisting the Premier League side meet the player's release clause, believed to be £106million (€120m).

Schmidt previously described Chelsea's pursuit of the 22-year-old as "disrespectful", and speaking to reporters on Wednesday, he reiterated his confidence that Fernandez will stay.

"Yes, of course," he said about the player remaining in Lisbon. "When you see Enzo playing for Benfica you can tell he's in shape and happy. He's not thinking about anything else.

"I'm not expecting to lose any of our regular starters. I see the players concentrated and I hope this continues."

Fernandez, fresh off winning the World Cup last month as well as picking up the tournament's Young Player award, leads the Primeira Liga for passes attempted this season with 1,511, 260 more than the next most (Sporting CP's Goncalo Inacio – 1,251).

Chelsea have had a busy window already, signing David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos, Joao Felix (loan), Benoit Badiashile, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Noni Madueke.

Chelsea are reportedly looking to make a significant investment in a young midfielder, and remain strongly linked to Benfica's Enzo Fernandez as well as Moises Caicedo of Brighton and Hove Albion.

Fernandez, 22, burst onto the world stage as he forced his way into Argentina's starting XI en route to their 2022 World Cup victory, earning the Best Young Player honour in Qatar in the process.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Caicedo has looked right at home in his second Premier League season, starting in all 18 of his appearances this campaign to help propel Brighton up to a surprising sixth on the table.

With Jorginho's future at Chelsea up in the air and fellow 31-year-old N'Golo Kante having not played since August due to a serious hamstring injury, Chelsea are looking for a long-term solution in the centre of the park – and are once again willing to pay up.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA SET TO RETURN WITH FRESH OFFERS FOR FERNANDEZ AND CAICEDO

According to Portuguese publication Record, Chelsea will attempt to secure Fernandez before the end of January, but are aware Benfica will not budge below the player's £106million (€120m) release clause.

The Guardian adds an improved offer for Caicedo "remains a possibility" after their recent bid of £55m was rejected by Brighton, although it is now believed the Seagulls are "scouring the market for potential replacements" for the Ecuador international.

Caicedo is not the only Brighton player their former head coach, now Chelsea boss, Graham Potter has fond memories of, also enquiring about 24-year-old midfielder and Fernandez's Argentinian team-mate Alexis Mac Allister.

 

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– Talksport is reporting Newcastle United have interest in 21-year-old Everton forward Anthony Gordon as a replacement for Chris Wood after the big striker left on loan to Nottingham Forest.

– According to Sky Sports Germany's Florian Plettenberg, Manchester United have been put off by Napoli's £88m (€100m) asking price for 24-year-old striker Victor Osimhen and will seek a cheaper alternative.

Jude Bellingham is expected to reject the latest contract extension offer from Borussia Dortmund, and, per the Daily Star, five clubs will be competing for his services via transfer: Manchester City, United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

– The Athletic is reporting Bournemouth are working on an offer of £17.5m (€20m) plus add-ons for 21-year-old Villarreal forward Nicolas Jackson, who is also a Southampton target.

– After rejecting approaches from Aston Villa, Fulham and Bournemouth, Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie could get his wish to head to a top club as Arsenal have reportedly entered the race for the £22m-rated (€25m) United States international, per Gazzetta dello Sport.

Newcastle United have reportedly pushed Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin to the top of their extended transfer wish-list.

Calvert-Lewin, 25, is in his seventh season with Everton, which has been highlighted by a pair of terrific seasons in 2019-20 and 2020-21 where he combined for 29 of his 46 total Premier League goals.

He missed three months this past campaign due to a fractured toe, and spent the first two months of the current season on the sideline nursing a knee injury, resulting in only one league goal since May.

Despite his lack of production in recent months, Calvert-Lewin already has 11 senior international caps for England under his belt, and could be viewed as a depreciating asset due to Everton's struggle in the relegation zone.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE IDENTIFY CALVERT-LEWIN AS TOP FORWARD TARGET

According to The Sun, Newcastle want to secure Calvert-Lewin this month as he is "right at the top" of their list of targets.

The report states he is valued at £35million, and Everton are bracing themselves for bids as they sit 19th after just three wins from 19 matches.

Meanwhile, The Telegraph adds Newcastle are in discussions to send striker Chris Wood on loan to Nottingham Forest, as well as listing a number of players the club have expressed interest in.

They include Calvert-Lewin's team-mate Anthony Gordon, Chelsea trio Conor Gallagher, Hakim Ziyech and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Manchester United's Scott McTominay.

 

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– The Athletic are reporting Brighton and Hove Albion have rejected a £55m bid from Chelsea for 21-year-old midfielder Moises Caicedo.

– According to AS, Barcelona would like to sign 26-year-old Wolves forward Goncalo Guedes on a loan with a mandatory buy clause, but Italian journalist Matteo Moretto is reporting Guedes is in Portugal ahead of completing a loan move to Benfica.

Everton are in talks with Rennes about a loan with an option to buy 20-year-old winger Kamaldeen Sulemana, although the Ghana international is expected to cost in the range of £40m (€45m), per GiveMeSport.

– Bild are reporting highly rated 18-year-old Borussia Dortmund forward Youssoufa Moukoko – who had interest from Chelsea and Barcelona as he entered the final six months of his contract – is in the final stages of signing a three-year extension with the German club.

Leicester City have offered £10m for 24-year-old Stoke City centre-back Harry Souttar, who was a standout for Australia at the World Cup, per GianlucaDimarzio.com.

Former Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only returned to London in September to join Chelsea, but his time at Stamford Bridge could soon be up.

The Gabon international has scored three goals in 16 games but has only started four times in the Premier League under Blues boss Graham Potter.

Chelsea have been active in the January transfer window, already bringing in Joao Felix, Andrey Santos, Benoit Badiashile and David Datro Fofana.

TOP STORY – AUBA COULD EXIT CHELSEA FOR BARCELONA RETURN

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is eager to leave Chelsea and wants to return to Barcelona, reports Spanish newspaper Sport.

Aubameyang reportedly had interest from Atletico Madrid too, but FIFA rules state a player can only be registered for a maximum of three clubs in a season, but only play for two.

Any move for the Gabon international, who played for the Blaugrana earlier this season, could hinge on Atletico's interest in Barca's Memphis Depay

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Atletico Madrid are weighing up a move for Leicester City's Turkish defender Caglar Soyuncu, reports Italian journalist Matteo Moretto. Wolves are pushing to sign Brazilian centre-back Felipe from the Spanish club, according to the Daily Mail.

– Southampton full-back Kyle Walker-Peters has interest from Manchester United and Chelsea, reports Talksport.

– The Sun reports Manchester United are also interested in World Cup stars Goncalo Ramos and Mohammed Kudus from Benfica and Ajax respectively.

– Foot Mercato reports Fiorentina's Moroccan midfielder Sofyan Amrabat would prefer to join Atletico Madrid instead of Liverpool or Tottenham. Fiorentina appear set to sell him for more than €50million after impressing at the World Cup.

– The Daily Mail says Marseille could receive a bid from Aston Villa for ex-Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi. New Villa boss Unai Emery worked with Guendouzi at Emirates Stadium.

– Leeds United have agreed a deal that could be worth up to £35.5million (€40m) to sign Hoffenheim forward Georginio Rutter, claims Sky in Germany.

Real Madrid have reportedly made Tottenham's Harry Kane their top priority up forward after failed pursuits of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.

Kane, 29, is a three-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, and is showing no signs of slowing down, with his 15 goals in 18 league games this season trailing only Manchester City's Haaland (21 in 16 appearances).

He is only 10 league goals away from tying Wayne Rooney for the second-most in Premier League history, while he is also tied with Rooney for England's all-time record and is one goal away from tying Jimmy Greaves as Tottenham's all-time leader.

With his individual legacy in England already secured, Kane is said to be ready to take the next step in his career and join a team capable of competing consistently for trophies.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID SET THEIR SIGHTS ON ENGLAND'S NUMBER NINE

According to Todofichajes, Kane is now Madrid's favourite option for a new marquee striker, and the belief is that he does not plan on extending his contract with Tottenham beyond 2024.

With 18 months remaining on his contract and still yet to turn 30, Kane's transfer value will likely never be higher than it is right now, but a mid-season sale while also trying to convince Antonio Conte to remain long-term appears out of the question.

If Kane does not indicate that he will sign a new deal, Tottenham will be forced to sell him at the end of the season, or risk forgoing a transfer fee in the range of €100million and letting him walk for free.

 

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– Mediafoot is reporting Arsenal are contemplating a move for out-of-favour 32-year-old Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard

– According to 90min, Chelsea have joined Tottenham in the hunt for 23-year-old Sporting right-back Pedro Porro, but also have reservations about meeting his €45m release clause.

Real Madrid have identified 22-year-old Alphonso Davies from Bayern Munich and Benfica 27-year-old Alejandro Grimaldo as their top options to replace left-back Ferland Mendy, per Fichajes.

– SportItalia is reporting Atletico Madrid view 28-year-old Barcelona winger Memphis Depay as a potential replacement for Joao Felix, who will spend the rest of the season on loan at Chelsea.

Everton and Nottingham Forest are both interested in a loan deal for 25-year-old Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma, per Sky Sports.

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