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Chelsea make £55m loan-to-buy offer for Benfica’s Gedson Fernandes — report

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Ummm ... okay?

SL Benfica v Rio Ave FC - Liga NOS Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

The fraternity of Chelsea Football Club have announced that Wednesday, January 8, 2020, would be Bid Day. We missed that announcement, so we’re playing catch-up.

Earlier today, reports claimed that Chelsea made a move for Metz striker Habib Diallo. A bit later, other reports claimed that Chelsea have also made a move for Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes. Neither name had really appeared in the Chelsea rumor mill before, but sometimes these things still surprise even with wall-to-wall 24/7 media coverage and speculation.

That said, Chelsea’s offer for Gedson seems a rather opportunistic one, as the soon-to-be 21-year-old (tomorrow, January 9 is his birthday!) has looked set for West Ham. But the Hammers have failed to close the deal thus far, so either some agent is motivating that along by using Chelsea, or we’re truly interested in hijacking this deal. The former is lent some credence by Matt Law’s tweet, which advises against buying a Fernandes Chelsea shirt just yet.

You never know in football however. Chelsea’s proposed move for Fernandes is similar to West Ham’s: an 18-month loan with an obligation to buy for £55m at the end of it (or about half his official buyout). I’m not sure why we’d bother with this sort of arrangement — teams usually do this when they’re hurting for money — but whatever. And that still seems like an enormous fee for a player who might have great potential (and already has a couple international caps for Portugal) but has been out of favor at Benfica.

Back over to you, Silly Season.