Enzo Fernandez: Chelsea sign midfielder in UK record £106.8m transfer deal from Benfica | Transfer Center News
Chelsea have signed midfielder Enzo Fernandez from Benfica for a British record £106.8million.
The deal for the Argentine tops the £100m Manchester City paid for Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish 18 months ago.
The 22-year-old, who only joined Benfica last summer for around £10million, signed an eight-and-a-half-year contract at Stamford Bridge to keep him at the club until the summer of 2031.
Premier League record purchases
- Enzo Fernandez – Benfica to Chelsea, January 2023 – £106.8m
- Jack Grealish – Aston Villa to Manchester City, summer 2021 – £100m
- Romelu Lukaku – Inter Milan to Chelsea, summer 2021 – £97.5m
- Romelu Lukaku – Everton to Manchester United, Summer 2017 – £90m
- Paul Pogba – Juventus to Manchester United, Summer 2016 – £89m
- Mykhailo Mudryk – Shakhtar Donetsk to Chelsea, January 2022 – £88.5m
Chelsea had been in talks to sign the World Cup winner throughout January, but Benfica had refused to do any business unless the Blues paid his €120million release clause.
But Chelsea agreed to a €121million deal at 9.15pm on deadline day after 12 hours of talks led by Chelsea co-owner Behdad Eghbali from London.
The Blues will pay an initial installment of £30million, with the rest of the fee paid in five further instalments.
Fernandez has been left out of Benfica’s squad for their game against Arouca on Tuesday night, with the 22-year-old undergoing a medical in Portugal ahead of his move to Stamford Bridge.
According to the Portuguese broadcaster CISFernandez will fly to the UK on Wednesday morning, with a private jet expected to leave Lisbon airport at 10:20 a.m.
Fernandez will help replace Jorginho, who joined Chelsea’s London rivals Arsenal on deadline day in a £12million deal.
Analysis: what Fernandez will bring to Chelsea
Sky Sports’ Ron Walker:
“Fernandez’s attributes clearly show how he can help. Still halfway through his first season with Benfica, he has racked up the second-most assists in the Primeira Liga and created 30 chances for his teammates – some of them them particularly keen-catching, and a superb precise setup for Goncalo Ramos against Sporting earlier this month perhaps the pick of the pack.
“It was that kind of playing potential that made Manchester City and Real Madrid bring him over from River Plate last summer before he moved to Lisbon.
“No one in the Portuguese top flight has made more assists than the Argentine, and if he proves he replaces Jorginho at Stamford Bridge, he will also bring something extra into the final third where he is also top. pass classification.
“If Chelsea wanted to play with a midfield two, he would also offer a better option. Fernandez has already taken responsibility without the ball at Benfica, regularly playing a presenting role when needed. He has been one of the best tacklers in the league, and only 10 players in the division have won the ball more in the middle third despite his considerable production further up the pitch.”
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