Chelsea Transfer News: No Enzo Fernandez breakthrough with Blues short of time
The Blues have made a £115million bid for the 22-year-old who would smash Britain’s transfer record. But negotiations continue over the structure of the deal, with Chelsea keen to stagger the cost of the transfer fee to help them comply with Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
Chelsea offered their release clause in order to pay in instalments and avoid paying a large sum in one go. Amid uncertainty over his future, Fernandez is set to miss Benfica’s game against Arouca on Tuesday.
Fernandez was one of the stars at the World Cup in Qatar and made it clear this month that he wants to join Chelsea. They had been hoping for a breakthrough in talks over the Argentine star, with personal terms already agreed to bring him to Stamford Bridge on a seven-and-a-half-year contract.
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Chelsea co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali were at the World Cup to see Fernandez win the best young player award. Manchester United and Liverpool had also identified Fernandez as a transfer target but neither have the financial wherewithal to sign him this month.
Chelsea were keen to complete a deal in January before facing competition from other clubs this summer. A move by Fernandez would take Chelsea’s spending under new owners Boehly and Clearlake past £500m.
The Blues failed with a move for Fernandez earlier this month but reopened talks after cooling their interest in Moises Caicedo and Amadou Onana.
Benfica coach Roger Schmidt said on Monday: “As long as the transfer windows are open, we have to be ready for anything.
“We all know that there is this situation with Enzo, who has a release clause, and, if there is a club that pays it, it is a lot of money, we cannot prevent it. If this happens, we will have to prepare and find solutions.
“At the moment, Enzo is still our player, and we will see what happens until the end of the market.”
Arsenal are closing in on signing Jorginho which would free up space in Chelsea’s squad. Conor Gallagher could also leave before Tuesday’s deadline.
Should Chelsea seal a deal for Fernandez, he would become their 17th new signing since the club took over last summer.