Chelsea have made a surprise 18-month loan offer to Benfica for Gedson Fernandes with an obligation to purchase the midfielder for £55m, according to one source.
The Portuguese has been a star performer in Primeira Liga since breaking into the first-team fold last season, attracting the attention of a host of European sides with some glittering performances, though he has struggled for game time over the last few months.
Chelsea have made an offer, initial loan with obligation to buy, to Benfica for midfielder Gedson Fernandes. West Ham made an offer for the Portugal international earlier this week
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 8, 2020
West Ham have been heavily linked with the 20-year-old this window, with an initial loan move being lined up by the Premier League club as they sought to secure the highly-rated talent. Fernandes boasts versatility, with the starlet more than capable of operating as a number ten, in central midfield or in a wide role.
As reported by Sky Sports, Chelsea have stolen a march on their rivals in spectacular fashion, making a bid for the midfielder despite the interest of the aforementioned mentioned clubs dominating the headlines over recent weeks.
The supposed interest from the Blues is the most concrete yet, and recent reports had suggested that Fernandes favoured a move to London ahead of the other interested parties due to the fact he has family in the city.
Despite being courted by sides across the continent, Fernandes has made just 13 appearances for Benfica this season after falling out of favour under Bruno Lage. Benfica’s response is not yet known, but it appears as if the club are willing to move him on should an acceptable bid come in.
Frank Lampard has been keen to make additions this window after Chelsea’s two-window transfer embargo was reduced to a solitary window, with forward options high on his list of priorities.
The likes of Wilfried Zaha and Moussa Dembele have been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, but this apparent move indicates Lampard is keen to address his midfield ahead first. He already boasts Mason Mount, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mateo Kovacic, so the bid comes as a surprise move.
Such a surprise, in fact, that Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph has played down Sky Sports’ claim, instead insisting that caution should be taken with this alleged bid.
I wouldn’t start ordering Fernandes shirts, Chelsea fans. Focus remains on forwards and possibly a defender.
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) January 8, 2020
He said: “I wouldn’t start ordering Fernandes shirts, Chelsea fans. Focus remains on forwards and possibly a defender.”
Given the plethora of midfield options at Lampard’s disposal, it would be an odd decision on Chelsea’s behalf. Instead, what is more likely is that Fernandes is being watched by the club due to his potential and the fact that he poses a risk-free option on loan.