Chelsea have reignited their interest in signing Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez after cooling their interest in recent weeks. The Blues angered the Portuguese club with their initial approach, and after the rebuff had veered towards signing Brighton and Hove Albion's Moises Caicedo.

The West London club began the January transfer window with an aggressive pursuit of the 2022 World Cup winner. Fernandez has a €120 million release clause but Chelsea were hoping a large up front fee would convince Benfica to lower their asking price.

The Portuguese club were offended by Chelsea's approach, and made it clear that the Argentina international was not for sale unless his release clause was paid in full. The Premier League club moved on and took aim at Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo.

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is keen to bolster the squad this month, and approached the south coast club with a £55 million offer for the Ecuador international. Brighton immediately rejected the bid, and made it clear that the 21-year-old midfielder was not for sale.

After failing in their move for Caicedo, the Blues have reignited their interest in Fernandez. As per Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea are more determined than ever to bring the Argentine to Stamford Bridge this month, and are even willing to pay the full €120 million release clause.

"Chelsea are planning to insist in very strong and convinced way to sign Enzo Fernández in the final 48h — even if Benfica president Rui Costa doesn't want to give up," Romano wrote. "Owners & board, all Chelsea structure 100% involved and focused to get it done."

The English top-flight club has scheduled fresh talks with Benfica for Fernandez with the Chelsea ownership desperate to get the deal done. They are expected to travel to Portugal to meet with Benfica chief Rui Costa, who will have the final word on the World Cup star's future.

Chelsea have 48-hours to get the deal over the line with the transfer deadline approaching. The club have already splashed out over £200 million this winter, and are not shying away from Benfica's £105 million valuation of Fernandez, who was voted the best young player at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Moises Caicedo
Moises Caicedo Mike Hewitt/Getty Images