Chelsea head coach Graham Potter does not expect his players to be distracted by the number of rumours linking players with a move to the club.
There is plenty of business expected at Stamford Bridge over the forthcoming weeks as Potter tries to reshape his squad in a bid to resurrect a top-four challenge.
They did not make the best start to 2023 as they were outplayed in a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest on Sunday, where the rumour mill stepped up.
David Datro Fofana was at the City Ground watching after his move from Molde while reports also suggested Chelsea had struck a deal for Monaco’s Benoit Badiashile.
But Potter said: “It’s part of the season we all have to deal with, so I’m not complaining about it.
“They are human beings and while the window is open, there is noise and 24-hour media that has to be filled with something.
“The January window gives people an opportunity to speak about things, so it’s normal. It’s part of modern-day football and we have to deal with it.”
As well as Badiashile, the Blues are expected to complete the signing of Benfica and Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
Fernandez has a whopping €120million release clause in his contract and Chelsea are reluctant to trigger it as they will have to pay the whole fee up front.
Instead, they will reportedly pay a fixed price plus add-ons, totaling €130m, €10m more than his release clause.
Nottingham Forest are also expected to do business as they try to move away from danger at the bottom of the table.
Their performance against the Blues suggests they have a good chance anyway, especially if they can recreate the atmosphere at the City Ground which clearly unsettled Chelsea.
“They’re brilliant,” boss Steve Cooper said of the Forest fans.
“I love it when people come here (to the City Ground) for the first time in a while and they feel it. We’re lucky that we get to feel it every game because we’re here.
“I repeat, we will not take it for granted. We don’t feel entitled by it. We’re dead appreciative of it, but we’ve got to earn the support.
“Just because we’ve had it this time doesn’t mean we’ll get it straight away in the next game. The fans have got to see a team that is trying for the club. They saw that.
“The city responds off things like that anyway, not just the football club. You sense that from living in and around it.”
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