Man United close to beating Chelsea to ideal January deadline transfer amid Enzo Fernandez wait

Chelsea face an intense race against time to complete the signing of Enzo Fernandez. At the current time of writing, the midfielder is said to be undergoing a medical in Portugal ahead of a £105million move from Benfica.

The transfer saga has dominated the January transfer window and looks set to come to an end by tonight’s deadline at 11pm. Talks had been at an advanced stage in recent days with Benfica’s preference of retaining Fernandez’s release clause in full providing a stumbling block for Todd Boehly.

As the clock continues to tick down, there has been mentions of potential alternatives to Fernandez should Chelsea fail to get their man. Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella was the subject of a reported approach earlier today whilst Sky Sports Germany claimed the Blues asked Bayern Munich about Marcel Sabitzer’s services.

Now, with less than five hours remaining of the window, the Austrian midfielder is close to joining Manchester United after being pictured boarding a flight to Manchester. Erik ten Hag’s side were initially due to endure a quiet deadline day but news of Christian Eriksen’s absence until April has forced them to delve into the market for a replacement.

Sabitzer, who still has two-and-a-half years left on his contract in Germany, will join the Old Trafford outfit on loan with an option to make it permanent. According to Sky Sports, United tracked Sabitzer in the summer and have ‘spotted an opportunity’ to acquire him this month.

Sky Sports claims the Red Devils are waiting for Bayern to sanction the deal, but’s sister title, Manchester Evening News, have reported that there is confidence within the 19-time English champions that they can complete a deal before the deadline.

United’s movement means, if Fernandez’s move to London falls through, Chelsea will have to either miss out on bolstering Graham Potter’s midfield or identifying a late panic buy. Moises Caicedo is almost certainly expected to stay at Brighton despite severe interest from Arsenal and the Blues.

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