Chelsea’s hopes of signing Benfica and Argentina star Enzo Fernandez have been dashed following reports that they must pay his €120 million release clause to sign him this January window.
The Blues had seemed the runaway leaders in the race to sign Fernandez, with reports that they had offered in excess of Fernandez’s release clause in order to split the payment into three smaller instalments.
However, it’s now come to light that Chelsea have angered Benfica during negotiations due to their reluctance to meet their demands. Fabrizio Romano has reported that a new meeting between the clubs has not been scheduled, with talks collapsing after the Blues verbally discussed paying Fernandez’s release clause before offering far less.
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According to Portuguese publication Record, Chelsea’s last offer included a player who is yet to sign for the club.
Chelsea’s bizarre offer for Fernandez
Record have reported that the West London club offered Benfica €90m, plus Hakim Ziyech on a permanent deal and both David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos on loan.
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Santos, 18, is seen as one of Brazil’s most promising young talents, but he currently still plays for Vasca de Gama and has not yet signed for Chelsea.
He has reportedly completed his medical, but the deal is not officially done, meaning Graham Potter’s side offered Benfica a player who’s not yet registered to them.
Benfica have made it very clue that Chelsea must pay Fernandez’s release clause if they want to sign him, something the Blues haven’t yet done.
It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will schedule more discussions with Benfica and agree to pay €120m to land the World Cup star, or they will move onto other targets.
The aforementioned Fofana is their only January arrival to date, although AS Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile is set to join him in signing for the club this month. The Frenchman has completed his medical, and the official documents have been signed, meaning it’s just a case of waiting for an announcement from the club to confirm his arrival at Stamford Bridge.