Chelsea’s British record bid for Enzo Fernandez to enter final hours of window

Chelsea’s bid to sign Enzo Fernandez for a British record fee was set to enter the final hours of the transfer window on Tuesday.

The proposed deal would make the Argentina World Cup winner the Premier League’s most expensive player, with Chelsea set to pay the reported 120 million euros (£105.6m) release clause to land the 22-year-old Benfica midfielder.

The previous British transfer record was set by Manchester City following the signing of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for £100m in August 2021.

Argentina v France – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Final – Lusail Stadium
Chelsea target Enzo Fernandez was named Young Player of the Tournament at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (Nick Potts/PA)

Reports have suggested that Chelsea club officials are in Lisbon to complete the deal, with Fernandez, who was left out of Benfica’s matchday squad for their Primeira Liga fixture at Arouca on Tuesday, set to have his medical in the Portuguese capital.

Talks between the two clubs were set to continue ahead of the Premier League transfer window closing at 11pm GMT.

As Chelsea prepared to add another recruit in what has been a busy and costly transfer window for the Blues, with already more than £450m spent since the end of last season, another midfielder was allowed to leave Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal completed a £12m deal for Italy international Jorginho, with the 31-year-old understood to have signed a one-and-a-half-year deal at the Emirates Stadium.

Jorginho would have been out of contract at the end of the season and the deal allows Chelsea to recoup a fee for a player who has made over 200 appearances for the club.

Arsenal were keen to bolster their midfield and turned their attention to Jorginho having been rebuffed by Brighton in their attempts to sign Moises Caicedo.

The Gunners’ north London neighbours Tottenham remain hopeful of finalising a reported £39.7m transfer for Sporting Lisbon defender Pedro Porro ahead of the deadline.

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte had targeted a new right wing-back, with space seemingly created by Matt Doherty and Djed Spence. The former is set to complete a loan move to Atletico Madrid and the latter has joined Rennes on loan – both until the end of the season.

Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo has joined Bayern Munich on loan for the remainder of the campaign.

Bayern’s unexpected swoop for Cancelo is understood to include an option for the German giants to buy the 28-year-old Portugal international for £61.5m in the summer.

Cancelo said: “FC Bayern is a great club, one of the best in the world, and it’s enormous motivation for me to now play alongside these extraordinary players in a team.”

News of the deal came as a surprise when it was first reported on Monday. Cancelo has been a key member of Pep Guardiola’s side that have won the Premier League in the past two seasons.

Yet Cancelo has found game time limited since returning from the World Cup and there have been reports he had become a disruptive influence in the dressing room.

Marcel Sabitzer
Marcel Sabitzer could be on his way to Manchester United (Simon Galloway/PA).

With Christian Eriksen ruled out on Tuesday for three months with an ankle injury, the PA news agency understands Manchester United are poised to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Marcel Sabitzer on loan to fill the midfield gap.

Austria international Sabitzer was pictured by Sky Germany at Munich Airport, with Manchester said to be his destination as the 28-year-old is expected to undergo a medical and complete paperwork there before joining on loan for the rest of the season.

Newcastle have followed up their signing of Anthony Gordon from Everton by securing Scotland Under-21 full-back Harrison Ashby from West Ham for a reported £3m.

Ashby, 21, has been signed with an eye on the future and manager Eddie Howe told “Harrison is a very talented young player with a lot of potential so we are delighted to sign him and are looking forward to working with him in this exciting new chapter of his career.”

Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, meanwhile, is expected to leave the Magpies to join Nottingham Forest.

Bournemouth have agreed a fee with Dynamo Kiev for defender Ilya Zabarnyi and the 20-year-old is now due to undergo a medical.

Crystal Palace are hoping to tie up a loan deal for Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga.

Leeds have also signed a player for the future in 18-year-old centre-back Diogo Monteiro from Swiss Super League side Servette.

Championship side Norwich have signed 19-year-old Arsenal winger Marquinhos on loan until the end of the season.