Chelsea are reportedly stepping up their efforts to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes, according to reports in Portugal.
The 23-year-old has impressed this season, scoring 16 goals and providing 20 assists in 53 appearances in all competitions to emerge as a key figure for the Portuguese giants.
In turn, that form should be rewarded with a spot in the Portugal squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer, giving all concerned an opportunity to take a closer look at him at the highest level.
According to A Bola, Chelsea are staking their claim to get to the front of the queue as they have not only joined the race to sign Fernandes, but it’s claimed that they have made early steps to open discussions over a possible move to Stamford Bridge this summer.
It won’t be easy though, as it’s added that Liverpool, Tottenham and Atletico Madrid are all keen on Fernandes, who has come on significantly after an impressive spell in Italy with Udinese and Sampdoria.
Even in Serie A he looked a talented player, racking up over 100 appearances in the Italian top flight between 2013 and 2017.
However, it certainly won’t be straightforward in prising him away from Sporting now though, as the Metro reported earlier this month that Fernandes has a whopping €100m release clause in his contract.
In turn, it remains to be seen if any of the interested parties are willing to spend that much or get as close as possible. Although he’s obviously a talented player, that’s a lot of money for an individual who hasn’t proven his class on the biggest stages on a consistent basis and so it would still be somewhat of a risk.
In terms of Chelsea’s needs though, with Cesc Fabregas the only real creative spark in the midfield alongside the likes of N’Golo Kante, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater, adding a player with Fernandes’ skill set would be a sensible move for the Blues.