Chelsea can anger Antonio Conte and Tottenham with Enzo Fernandez transfer plan amid £105m query


Chelsea could move on to a cheaper option in midfield if they can't agree a deal for Enzo Fernandez in the January transfer window. The Argentine has entered the scene quickly as a top target for the winter with Graham Potter looking for more options in midfield.

Although Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham are different types of players, and Fernandez is again an alternative profile, the Blues want to add bodies to their ranks with at least two first team players expected to leave in 2023. As a technical player that can play at the base of a midfield but also as an orthodox No.8, Fernandez has a lot of very desirable qualities for Potter. His flexibility within systems for Lionel Scaloni at the World Cup was evident.

After coming on in the second group game from the bench, he started every match from then on. Having already demonstrated his talents in the Champions League, he has only boosted his profile in the game but the £105million release clause makes a mid-season move hard to sanction and even then it may not be enough with personal terms not yet agreed with the player.

Even with a group of eager teams chasing him, of which Chelsea are very much in the mix , he may still play out the season. This doesn't help the immediately pressing midfield hole left by injuries and expiring contracts though, meaning that alternative options could be called upon. This shouldn't be a problem for the now packed recruitment department but a rogue name has come into play. According to Italian outfit La Repubblica there could be a player merry-go-round on the way with midfielders in Serie A that may well open the door for a long-standing Premier League target.

Nicolo Barella has been on the wishlist for Antonio Conte for years, even dating back to his Chelsea days, and that doesn't seem to have disappeared. The Tottenham manager was keen on Barella over the summer but his £60million was too steep . Liverpool have looked into signing the 25- yera-old too, but Chelsea may have the chance to do so in January if Fernandez proves unattainable. Barella may have some new competition at Inter Milan with Davide Frattesi being linked with a move to the San Siro, this could open up room for someone to leave.

Although he still has two-and-a-half-years left on his contract Barella is admired by many across Europe for his technical play that best matches Fernandez out of the three main targets mentioned for Chelsea. If he was still available for £60million as he was over the summer then it could prove to be an efficient piece of business over the winter.

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