Belgium Midfielder rejects Chelsea transfer as Arsenal consider bid for £50m

Everton midfielder Amadou Onana has turned down a move to Chelsea, according to reports in Belgium.

Chelsea have spent in excess of £150 million on new signings this month but are still looking to bolster Graham Potter’s squad before the end of the January transfer window.

Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez has been Chelsea’s top midfield target but the Portuguese club are standing firm and demanding that the Argentine’s €120m (£105.6m) release clause is met.

Chelsea are exploring alternative options and Onana is on their shortlist having impressed at Everton following his arrival from Lille last summer.

According to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, Chelsea are confident that they can agree a deal with Everton for Onana, however, the 21-year-old has rejected a switch to Stamford Bridge and has said that he wants to focus on helping keep Everton in the Premier League this season.

The report claims that Chelsea could attempt to change Onana’s mind, while a move to Arsenal this month could be more realistic.

Everton are aiming to keep their squad together to fend off relegation this season but are open to selling players in order to ease their financial concerns.

It’s understood that Everton are demanding £50m for Onana, who was for £33m just five months ago.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are desperate to sign a midfielder before the window closes following Mohamed Elneny’s injury which could rule him out for the remainder of the campaign.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mikel Arteta conceded that he is short of options in central midfield ahead of the second half of the season.

‘We need more cover in midfield ideally if we can but obviously in this market it is pretty complicated to do that,’ Arteta said.

‘As I always say the most important thing is that we get the performances and the time on the pitch today with the players that we have that are already very good.

‘If there’s anything else available that can make us better we’ll look at it.’

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