Enzo Fernandez was the star of the show on a dim night for Chelsea after they were held to a goalless draw against Fulham on Friday. The Argentina World Cup winner, who made the £106million move to Stamford Bridge on deadline day, was thrown straight into the XI by Graham Potter as the Blues looked to get back to winning ways in the Premier League. Although it was a positive performance from the midfielder, he was unable to help his side to three points. Chelsea huffed and puffed but did not have enough guile and creativity to break down a compact Fulham side in west London. Following the full-time whistle, Kepa was full of praise for Fernandez and teammate Benoit Badiashile for their performances. Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa has heaped praise on Enzo Fernandez and Benoit Badiashile after they impressed in the Blues‘ goalless draw against Fulham. The Spaniard also stood out as he made a handful of excellent saves to ensure the Blues kept their third successive clean sheet in the Premier League. Badiashile has been pivotal to Chelsea’s up-turn in defensive form, while Fernandez added an extra dimension to the Blues‘ midfield. “Enzo arrived yesterday [Thursday], had one training session and then played 90 minutes. I think everyone saw his quality and how well he played. He is a big player for us, and hopefully he can help us a lot,” Kepa told the club’s website. “Benoit is a really good guy, very calm and has big quality with the ball. He’s also strong in the air, he’s having a great impact on the team and hopefully we can keep doing this.” “Kepa added:”Personally, I am feeling good and happy, with a lot of confidence. Every player is running a lot and covering spaces and pressing, so it is the work of 11 players, not just me. “It’s a big game against West Ham next week. We have all of the week to prepare for it and we’ll go there for a win, for the three points because we need it.” Mason Mount’s future is firmly in doubt after talks over a new Chelsea contract were put on hold – and the two parties are reportedly ‘a long way apart‘ on coming to an agreement. The 24-year-old has less than 18 months left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge, having come through the ranks, and he has since progressed into an integral first-team player. Mount last signed a new contract in July 2019 after impressing on loan with Frank Lampard at Derby but is now coming to the end of that deal. According to the Daily Mail, negotiations between Mount’s representatives and the club were halted after the England international rejected an offer as he felt it was below what others are earning. Mount pockets £80,000-a-week at the moment – but that staggeringly doesn’t even put him inside the top 20 paid players at Chelsea. It is understood Mount is hoping to treble his wages to around £240k-a-week but the club are offering significantly less than they are paying the likes of expensive recruits Sterling and Fofana. Todd Boehly has spent over £600million since he took over at the west London club last summer and splashed more than half of that in January. West Ham manager David Moyes has reiterated to Arsenal and Chelsea that in order to sign Declan Rice they’ll have to stump up a British-record transfer fee – and then some. Both Arsenal and Chelsea have been strongly linked with the West Ham captain, who Moyes has maintained will cost a pretty penny if he were to leave the London Stadium. Rice, 24, has been one of the Premier League’s best central midfielders for the past three seasons and a key player for England at two major tournaments. The Scottish boss declared after West Ham’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle United on Saturday: “Declan was a top player in the first half, he showed so many things. Undoubtedly he’s going to be a top player and undoubtedly he’ll be a British transfer record and more whenever he leaves West Ham.“. Asked if his star’s departure now feels inevitable, Moyes replied: “I hope it’s not! A lot’s been said about it and when you see what’s been happening with prices, I think Declan will be blowing that out the water when it comes around.”
Chelsea have been at the heart of an extraordinarily busy January transfer window and look unlikely to be finished there as a number of names continue to be linked with a winter move to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have been the highest spenders in the Premier League this season having backed up their huge summer outlay with a record-breaking January spend. The Blues, backed by the riches of Todd Boehly, have spent huge amounts throughout the January transfer window. The likes of Mykahylo Mudryk and Benoit Badiashile have all arrived at Stamford Bridge throughout the month. There could yet be even more additions with the Blues credited with an interest in Brighton star Moises Caicedo. It remains to be seen if they are able to agree a deal – or indeed beat-off interest from Arsenal – but the Chelsea hierarchy will certainly be trying. With that being said, take a look at the latest Chelsea-related transfer rumours from over the past 24 hours. Spanish giants Barcelona are reportedly holding talks with Atletico Madrid regarding the signing of on-loan Chelsea star Joao Felix. The Portuguese only moved to Stamford Bridge earlier in the window on a deal until the end of the campaign. Barcelona are desperate to bolster their forward options ahead of next season and according to Sport, they are considering a swoop for Felix. It is suggested that tentative talks are already underway with a positive relationship having been struck up between the two clubs following previous deals for Antoine Griezmann and Memphis Depay. Felix got his Chelsea career off to the worst possible start having been sent off on his debut against Fulham and is still yet to return from suspension. Chelsea have confirmed that Lyon defender Malo Gusto has become their seventh addition of the January transfer window. The 19-year-old right-back has moved to west London for a £26.3m deal. It will be a while before the Blues‘ faithful are able to see him in action though after he returned to France on a loan deal until the end of the campaign. He has put pen to paper on a seven-and-a-half-year deal. Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has confirmed that the Seagulls are aiming to find a “Solution” for Moises Caicedo – albeit stopped short of confirming whether that involved a transfer or not. Speaking before his side’s FA Cup win against Liverpool, he said: “Caicedo is a good guy. We will see. We hope he stays with us but this question for the club and Moises. In life you can make mistakes. We will see the best solution for the club, for Caicedo and for us.” The Ecuadorian midfielder is being chased by both Chelsea and Premier League rivals Arsenal.
Brighton owner Tony Bloom made his name as a professional poker player, so he knows when he has a strong hand. When you hold all the cards, you don’t need to worry when the bidding increases. You have your rivals exactly where you want them. Brighton have had enough strong hands over the past few years to know how to play them. Moises Caicedo may well have gone public with his desire to leave the club in the final days of the January transfer window, but his pleasantries won’t change their stance. Caicedo is under contract with the Seagulls until June 2025 and they are under no financial pressure to sell. The Ecuador international is being chased by Arsenal and Chelsea, who have both seen bids rejected during the past few weeks. They are not willing to sell a player who cost £4.5million from Independiente del Valle in 2021 for £55m, or £60m. Both Arsenal and Chelsea know first-hand how focused Bloom’s poker face can be and how stubborn Brighton are when it comes to transfers. The Gunners ended up forking out £50m to sign Ben White in July 2021, while the Blues coughed up £60m for Marc Cucurella in August 2022. Tottenham paid £25m plus add-ons for Yves Bissouma in the summer. The departures of White, Cucurella or Bissouma – nor that of manager Graham Potter to Chelsea – have not dented Brighton’s progress. Have they remained on an upwardly mobile trajectory under Roberto De Zerbi, and they won’t let Caicedo threaten that midway through the season. “I think he is a good guy, he is only focused on Brighton. I hope he can stay with us until the end of the season,” De Zerbi said this week. “In my opinion, that is the best solution for him and us.” “I spoke to him on Wednesday and told him it is difficult to change teams during the season. It is important for him to stay another four months with us. He is relaxed. I spoke to him like a father, not a coach. I understand when a player has a possibility to go to a big team, it is a big moment. My job is to give him the style of play, but also advice on his career and life.” De Zerbi’s insistence that Caicedo is “Only focused on Brighton” is now provably false. Caicedo is instead pitching the transfer he wants as a plus for the club. “I am proud to be able to bring in a record transfer fee for Brighton which would allow them to reinvest it and help the club continue to be successful,” he wrote on Friday evening. The thing he does not appreciate, perhaps, is that Brighton don’t need the record transfer fee he speaks of. They have already sold Leandro Trossard to Arsenal for a fee which could reach £27m, in this window. Trossard had fallen out with De Zerbi and was soon to be out of contract. Once again, the transfer fee achieved appears to be at the very top end of the scale. The club has asked Caicedo to stay away from the training ground until February 1 when the transfer window will have closed. He won’t be involved in their FA Cup tie against Liverpool on Sunday. The plan is a simple one: protect your most valuable asset and sell at a time when it su