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Chelsea Battle for This Benfica Star with £102m Release Clause

Only a few months ago, Chelsea did not seem to need the transfer window since the youngsters were performing at their very best. As it is always the case with young players, it is difficult to achieve consistency. Once Chelsea’s transfer ban was lifted, it became clear that the club would not waste any time in strengthening for the first time under Frank Lampard.

Lampard has been decisive in changing a lot of elements of Chelsea since he came in as the new manager. The style of play has changed; the youth policy has changed; and even training has changed a lot. And there seems to be a slight alteration to Chelsea’s policy of going behind the big names.

The club are interested in Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes, but the blues are not ready to pay over the odds for the 20-year-old. Instead, a first offer has been made with the blues keen on taking the player on an 18-month loan with a view of making it permanent for £ 55 million. This will be made permanent automatically if Fernandes is part of a certain percentage of Chelsea games during these 18 months.

Interestingly, the transfer is not without competition since West Ham have also made a similar offer but with a final offer of £33 million. However, Fernandes will complete a switch to the London Stadium by making appearances in a few percentage of West Ham games.

Fernandes could be a great buy, according to the free bet offers. Part of the reason is that his £102 million release clause is bypassed. The 20-year-old is seen as an incredibly talented winger who can instigate offences. The quality is especially required by Chelsea who are on the lookout for long-term replacements to both Pedro and Willian. Pedro is expected to leave Chelsea due to a lack of game time, while Willian is above 30 years of age. This would leave Callum Hudson-Odoi as one of the recognised wingers alongside Christian Pulisic.

Lampard has modified Chelsea’s tactics in such a way that there is a greater impetus on strikers to score goals. They are fed by the wingers, who have to pick the ball and drive at the opposition. Fernandes is exactly that kind of a player. His fallout with manager Bruno Lage means that Benfica cannot command a premium price for the player. West Ham’s presence is the biggest threat for Chelsea in the race to sign Fernandes, as the Hammers may offer the tempting prospect of featuring in the starting line-up almost every game.

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