Chelsea have not given up hope of bringing their top January target Enzo Fernandez to Stamford Bridge before the transfer window closes on Tuesday, sources have confirmed to 90min.
Chelsea made a bid for Fernandez earlier in the window. However, despite lengthy talks a deal could not be struck and Benfica pulled away from the negotiations.
We confirmed earlier this month that the lines of communication between those involved in talks were not dead. Indeed, 90min also revealed that Benfica were expecting Chelsea to make a renewed attempt to sign the player, and that is exactly what has happened.
Now sources have informed 90min that Chelsea believe there is a still a chance that they can sign the brilliant 22-year-old Argentine, who was one of the stars of last month's World Cup finals in Qatar.
Fernandez and his representatives have already agreed terms with Chelsea, which will mean a deal could be completed quickly - if the two clubs can agree terms.
Benfica had previously insisted that they wanted Fernandez's €120m release clause to be met. Chelsea were willing to do that and the Portuguese giants agreed to instalments, but the two clubs were way off in terms of how the money would be paid.
Now the Blues have returned and are prepared to up their initial instalments and are also offering a player to Benfica to help smooth the deal over. However, the final decision on whether to accept is down to Benfica president Rui Costa, and he has already proven this month that he is no pushover.
Benfica boss Roger Schmidt was quick to criticise Chelsea's approach for Fernandez earlier this month, and he stressed again this weekend that he wants his star man to remain at the club.
"Yes, of course," he said when asked if he was confident Fernandez would stay. "When you see Enzo playing you can tell he's in shape and happy
"He's not thinking about anything else. I'm not expecting to lose any of the starters. I see the players are concentrated and I hope this continues."