Chelsea believe they have made significant progress in their negotiations with Benfica over midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
The Blues tried to sign Fernandez earlier in the window but angered Benfica with their pursuit, with manager Roger Schmidt branding Chelsea’s efforts “disrespectful” before warning that the 22-year-old will only be sold if his €120m release clause is triggered.
The reported on Sunday that Chelsea have restarted talks with Benfica for the World Cup Young Player of the Tournament winner, with the Blues set to improve on their original proposal.
Chelsea are still exploring a deal that would allow them to pay in instalments, and Benfica are privately believed to be ready to accept a structured deal if it involves a significant upfront payment.
During the latest round of negotiations, believed to be led by Chelsea co-owner Behdad Eghbali, the Blues have expressed a willingness to pay more than €120m in a structured deal, but there is still talk of how that amount will be split.
The final decision on the sale will be left to Benfica president Rui Costa.
As with the first round of negotiations, Fernandez has indicated he wants to join Chelsea this month and the London side do not expect any problems in terms of personal terms following their communication with the midfielder’s agent earlier in the window.
Chelsea also remain interested in Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo, who publicly asked to leave the club this month.
The Seagulls have already rejected two bids from Arsenal, the latest of which was worth £65m plus £5m in add-ons, and have warned any suitors that the Ecuador international is not available for a move this month.