Benfica don’t want to let him go, but over the next few days they could have no choice. Chelsea are close to securing the signing of Enzo Fernandez, who was recently named Best Young Player at the 2022 World Cup won by Argentina.
Chelsea are the only club that, right now, have put on the table the 120 million euros that Enzo’s release clause is worth. For this reason, the deal could be close.
Benfica, who will only net 75 per cent of the fee, were quite reluctant to let their star player leave in the winter transfer window, but the Blues are intent.
Right now, the question seems to be about the form of payment. If Chelsea pay the clause, it would be in cash, but the Premier League club wants to pay a little more and Benfica will allow a deferred payment. That is the key to the transfer in the coming days.
Not everything is done, however. Negotiations are at an advanced stage, although the player has accepted his possible new contract in London.
Fernandez has been training in Lisbon for a few days now, waiting for news. Benfica have their first game tonight against Sporting Braga, but he will not be in the squad.
According to Portuguese media, the Lisbon club’s president Rui Costa is so reluctant to release his player that he offered the Argentinian a bonus of two million euros if he decides to stay until the end of the season.
Benfica play in February in the last 16 of the Champions League against Club Brugge and are the leaders of the Liga Portugal.
If everything is confirmed, Fernandez would become the most expensive Argentine in history, an honour currently held by Gonzalo Higuain.
In 2016, Juventus paid the 90 million euro release clause to Napoli in order to sign the Argentine striker. Now it would be, at least, 120m for Fernandez.
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