Chelsea Opens Talks For Enzo Fernandez, Ready to Meet Benfica’s £106m Release Clause

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Chelsea have opened talks with Benfica to sign World Cup winner and Argentine youngster Enzo Fernandez.

Enzo Fernandez

The Portuguese club are not ready to sell the World Cup winner, but Chelsea are reportedly willing to meet Benfica’s £106million release clause for the highly-rated youngster.

Enzo Fernandez was prolific for Argentina in the 2022 World Cup and was voted the Young Player of the tournament. He joined Benfica from River Plate and has made a big impression since joining Benfica from River Plate last summer for £8.5m.

Enzo Fernandez has started all their league games and has been instrumental in Benfica’s qualification to the Champions League knockout.

Premier League rivals Manchester United and Liverpool are also keen, but United are restricted by their budget, and Liverpool’s priority is Jude Bellingham. Newcastle are also interested, but not at an inflated price.

Meanwhile, Chelsea, under new owner Todd Boehly, are targeting investments in youngsters as a replacement for their aging midfield.

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Enzo Fernandez

They have signed David Fofana, 20, from Molde and will soon confirm the arrival of Andrey Santos, 18, from Vasco da Gama. Talks are ongoing with Monaco for 21-year-old defender Benoit Badiashile, and they have made a pitch for Borussia Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko, 18.

Cover is also wanted at right back and in goal, with Celtic’s Josip Juranovic and his Croatian compatriot Dominik Livakovic, of Dinamo Zagreb, among names discussed.

Enzo Fernandez is another prime summer target for the Blues as they aim to replace Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, whose contract will end at the end of the summer.

However, Benfica are hopeful of keeping Fernandez, but the Portuguese giants could be compelled to sell if the Blues make a juicy bid.

According to reports, Chelsea are willing to pay the £106million release clause of the Argentine youngster in the January window.

They are now the frontrunners, set to overtake Manchester United and Liverpool in signing the 21-year-old.

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Fernandez has a contract until 2027, with Benfica playing hardball to keep him.

But in a meeting with club president Rui Costa and super-agent Jorge Mendes, they were told the mammoth release clause would be no issue.

If Chelsea completes the deal for Enzo Fernandez, it will be a record transfer for the Blues, overtaking the £97.5m the club paid for Romelu Lukaku in 2021.

Enzo Fernandez

While the Blues are set to meet Benfica’s release clause for Fernandez, they will now have to leap over the hurdle of agreeing personal terms with the World Cup winner.

Enzo Fernandez scored only one goal for Argentina in the 2022 World in their 2-0 group-stage win over Mexico. He became the second youngest scorer for Argentina at a World Cup behind Lionel Messi.

Apart from Enzo Fernandez, Chelsea are also interested in Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham as they look to bolster their midfield for the Premier League top-four challenge.

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