- Chelsea offer over £106m to Benfica
- Blues more than match player's release clause
- Representatives in Lisbon to finalise deal
WHAT'S HAPPENING? The amount exceeds Fernandez's current release clause of €120m, with Portuguese outlet Correio de Manha reporting that Chelsea representatives have landed in Lisbon to discuss the conditions of a potential deal. The Blues' current offer puts them in pole position for one of Europe's hottest properties, as he has also been heavily linked with Premier League rivals Manchester United and Liverpool this month.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Fernandez is one of the continent's most sought-after players after his dazzling displays for Argentina at the World Cup. The 21-year-old scored a beauty against Mexico in the group stages and was a vital cog in Lionel Scaloni's side, with his performances earning him the Young Player of the Tournament award and helping the Albiceleste to their first World Cup since 1986.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Despite a stellar tournament in Qatar, Fernandez has been keen to quash the multitude of rumours surrounding his potential exit from Benfica. However, with Chelsea matching the player's release clause, Correio de Manha are reporting that the Argentina starlet could leave as early as January, as the Blues look to revitalise an ageing midfield with both Jorginho and N'Golo Kante out of contract in the summer and unlikely to renew.
STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:
DID YOU KNOW? Fernandez led all players for touches (118), successful passes (77) and tackles (10) in the World Cup final against France. His 10 tackles were the most of any player in a World Cup final since Gennaro Gattuso in 2006 (15).
WHAT NEXT FOR FERNANDEZ? The Argentina starlet will likely try his best to drown out the noise over his potential departure and focus on domestic matters with Benfica, as they return to Primeira Liga action against Braga on Friday.