Enzo Fernandez agrees to join Chelsea as Blues prepare huge transfer offer for €120m-rated Benfica midfielder
- Fernandez agrees to move
- Chelsea in direct talks
- Manager won't stand in his way
WHAT'S HAPPENING? Enzo Fernandez has agreed to leave Benfica and join Chelsea, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Blues are now in "direct talks" with the Portuguese side and are preparing a huge transfer offer for the midfielder, who has a €120 million release clause in his contract. Man Utd and Liverpool have also been linked with the World Cup's Young Player of the Tournament but have not yet made a bid.
WHAT THEY SAID: Benfica manager Roger Schmidt has been asked about the speculation surrounding Fernandez and told reporters he will respect the Argentina international's decision on his future.
"Until December 31 we are sure that we have all the players and nobody can leave. Then the market opens up and when you have players with great talent, you always run the risk of losing players," he said.
"These young players sometimes have opportunities. It's not just Enzo, it's all the players. It's part of the football business. If they have opportunities, they have to make decisions. I can give them advice and recommendations. But I always respected the players' decisions, because they only have one career."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Fernandez only arrived at Benfica in the summer from River Plate but his performances at the World Cup have thrust him into the limelight and brought a host of admirers. The 21-year-old has refused to speak about his future and said only that his agent is handling matters.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Chelsea have already offered £106m for Fernandez, more than matching his release clause, and are in pole position to land the youngster. Meanwhile, Benfica have denied comments from president Rui Costa that he will allow the midfielder to leave if his release clause is met and insist they want the Argentine to stay for the rest of the season.
STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Fernandez could return to action on Friday as Benfica take on Braga in the Portuguese top flight.