- 25 March
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Chelsea will match Benfica’s €120m Enzo Fernandez asking price – Romano
Chelsea are ready to step up their assault for Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez and are ready to bid up to €120 million to lure the World Cup winner away from his Portuguese club, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The Blues have been actively pursuing a central midfielder throughout the January transfer window, but despite taking a look at several targets, they have yet to add to their ranks.
Fernandez has always been high on the shortlist of Graham Potter’s side and was the player they began the window by chasing intently.
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Once it became evident that Benfica were going to hold out for a fee around the player’s €120m release clause, Chelsea’s attention turned to Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, but he has proven difficult to leverage away from the AmEx Stadium, particularly with Arsenal also heavily invested in the Ecuador international.
Now, with reports suggesting that Enzo is set to push his way out of Benfica after previously hinting at his loyalty to the club earlier in January, Romano reports that Chelsea are ready to approach the Portuguese side with an offer worth €120m.
"Chelsea have scheduled new round of talks for Enzo Fernández on Monday. Full focus on getting it done, player side won’t be an issue," Romano tweeted.
"Todd Boehly, Behdad Eghbali and the board are on it — Chelsea will reach €120m, depends on Rui Costa."
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Is Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea happening?
It is not as straightforward as simply getting the player to sign a contract should they do that, though.
Unless Chelsea are ready to pay Benfica the release fee in a lump sum – something that appears highly unlikely given their financial strategy – Rui Costa, the president of the in-form Portuguese league leaders will have the opportunity to reject the approach. The structure of the payments and any potential bonuses will, therefore, be key.
Chelsea have already been highly active in the January transfer window, with their latest addition being Malo Gusto, who arrived from Lyon in a deal that could reach €35m on Sunday.
If Enzo Fernandez was to join the Stamford Bridge side for €120m before the end of transfer window, it would be the biggest transfer in the history of the club.