Chelsea are set to take their spending under Todd Boehly past £350m in just seven months with a Premier League record deal for World Cup-winning Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
The Blues will pay Portuguese side Benfica €127m (£112m) to secure the 21-year-old in the January transfer window, according to multiple reports.
If completed, the move would eclipse Manchester City’s 2021 £100m signing of Jack Grealish as the most expensive arrival in Premier League history.
Central defender Wesley Fofana, left-back Marc Cucurella and England forward Raheem Sterling all arrived last summer for fees in excess of £50m.
Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly cost around £35m, while Chelsea also spent eight-figure sums on Aston Villa youngster Carney Chukwuemeka and former Arsenal and Barcelona forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
They have already continued their spending this month with a £10m deal for Ivorian striker David Datro Fofana, 20, from Norwegian club Molde.
But the signing of the sought-after Fernandez would be their most emphatic statement of intent yet in the transfer market.
The tough-tackling Argentinian only moved to Benfica last summer from River Plate for €10m (£9m) on a five-year contract, meaning his club stand to make a huge profit in just six months.
Fernandez emerged as one of the stars of the World Cup as Argentina lifted the trophy in Qatar last month.
Liverpool and Manchester United were also credited with interest in the player but Chelsea appear to have won the race for the hot prospect.
Chelsea are reported to have agreed to pay a fee in excess of Fernandez’s mandatory release clause €120m (£106m) in order to pay in three instalments, which would help them satisfy football’s financial fair play rules.