Benfica boss Schmidt attempts to put an end to Chelsea transfer saga as he insists Fernandez is staying put
- Talks have since broken down
- Schmidt insists player is "happy" at club
WHAT HAPPENED? The transfer saga of the January window could be coming to an end. After weeks of talk over Fernandez' potential move to west London - which ramped up after the player missed training last week - Schmidt has reiterated that the case is now 'closed'. The Argentine has since returned to training, and the Benfica boss has underlined his importance for the team going forward.
WHAT THEY SAID: “As I said last week, the question is closed,” the German tactician told reporters. “He's a player of ours, he's happy. He's part of the team and he's a key player. The situation is closed, I said that right at the beginning.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Schmidt's words come just days after he criticised Chelsea over their handling of deal for Fernandez, whose potential arrival at Stamford Bridge had raised a few eyebrows due to the player's exorbitant price tag having starred at the World Cup. Chelsea's league position and eliminations from both domestic cup competitions also highlight the need for offensive reinforcements, with a loan move for Atletico's Joao Felix nearing its completion.
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WHAT NEXT FOR FERNANDEZ? With the World Cup winner supposedly staying put - at least according to Schmidt - Fernandez's focus will return to club matters with Benfica, who travel to Varzim in the Taca de Portugal on Tuesday.