Chelsea ‘step up’ Amadou Onana transfer interest as Blues frustrated

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Chelsea have reportedly stepped up their pursuit of Everton midfielder Amadou Onana ahead of a rocky final week of the January transfer window at Goodison Park. The managerless Toffees face losing two key players before the winter deadline as the prospect of relegation looms ever larger.

Newcastle United ramping up their efforts to sign Anthony Gordon has prompted the 21-year-old winger to miss training for the past two days.

But Chelsea have joined the Tyneside sharks in circling the vulnerable Merseyside outfit after facing frustrating conclusions in the chase for their two first-choice midfield targets.

According to The Times, Chelsea have accelerated their interest in Onana after missing out on Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez and Brighton and Hove Albion’s Moises Caicedo.

Todd Boehly is determined to back Graham Potter with a new midfielder this month after already splashing over £400million in his first two transfer windows as owner.

However, he has been forced to focus on alternatives after Benfica and Brighton refused to budge on their hefty valuations, with Onana high on the shortlist.

The report adds that Everton don’t want to sell the Belgium international but need to raise funds due to Financial Fair Play issues.

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Onana only arrived at Everton in a £33m deal from Lille in August, signing a five-year deal under Frank Lampard.

But after Lampard’s sacking earlier this week, the 21-year-old powerhouse could follow him out the exit door with Stamford Bridge his destination.

Onana’s potential exit won’t help fears of dropping into the Championship among the Toffees’ fanbase, given the lack of time to find a worthy replacement.

He is bound to be eager to jump ship, swapping a club in disarray amid the toxic ‘Sack the Board’ protests with a club preparing for the Champions League knockout stages next month.

Chelsea have been one of the Premier League’s busiest clubs in January, recruiting five players on permanent deals, including their £88m swoop for Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk.

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He joins Noni Madueke, Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos in arriving in west London on long-term contracts. Joao Felix has signed on a six-month loan from Atletico Madrid worth over £9m.

Chelsea haven’t given up on Fernandez and Caicedo but will likely have to wait until the summer transfer window to complete a marquee move.

Benfica won’t sell Fernandez for less than his £106m release clause after he was named the World Cup’s best young player, partly because he only arrived last summer for around £16m.

And Brighton also maintain their stubborn stance, slapping a £100m price tag on Caicedo, just two years after spending just over £4m to sign the Ecuadorian from Independiente del Valle.

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