Premier League

Why are Chelsea paying more than Enzo Fernandez’s release clause?

Cameron Smith
Enzo Fernandez, Argentina, World Cup 2022

Chelsea look set to sign Benfica starlet Enzo Fernandez for €127 million, €7m more than his release clause at the Portuguese club.

The deal will break the Premier League transfer record, with the Argentina international ready to overtake Jack Grealish as the most expensive arrival in English history.

Fernandez, 21, only joined Benfica six months ago, but his impressive start to life in Europe and his immense World Cup campaign has enticed Chelsea into a record-breaking move.

READ: Why Enzo Fernandez is worth every penny of €127m fee

The midfielder won the Golden Ball at the 2022 World Cup, awarded to the best young player in the tournament, after he helped his nation win the competition in December.

His form in Qatar has thrust Fernandez into the spotlight and he is set to join Chelsea during the January transfer window as they look to kickstart their season following a stuttering run of form under new boss Graham Potter.

Since Todd Boehly’s arrival as owner, the Blues have mostly focused their transfer attention on signing the best young talent from across the world, adding Carney Chukwuemeka, Omari Hutchinson, Gabriel Slonina, Cesare Casadei and David Datro Fofana to their ranks already. Brazilian youngster Andrey Santos is also set to arrive at Stamford Bridge soon, along with Fernandez.

READ ALSO:   How Chelsea will line up with Enzo Fernandez

READ: How much will Enzo Fernandez earn at Chelsea?

However, Chelsea are paying over the odds to land Fernandez, and it’s not to ward off interest from other clubs across Europe.

Why are Chelsea paying €127m for Fernandez?

Fernandez’s release clause at Benfica stands at a huge €120m, which Chelsea are willing to exceed. While activating that release clause would save the West London club €7m, it would mean paying one lump sum to land Fernandez.

Enzo Fernandez is set to join Chelsea for €127m

Enzo Fernandez is set to join Chelsea for €127m

Instead, agreeing a deal for €127m allows Chelsea to split up the payment into different instalments. According to reports, Chelsea will pay €42m in each of the next three transfer windows to divide the investment into smaller pieces.

This has been done to avoid breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. Had Chelsea activated Fernandez’s release clause then they would’ve been at risk of breaking FFP regulations and could’ve been handed a transfer ban, like the one they received in 2019.

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Instead, Chelsea are set to avoid any FFP complications in regards to Fernandez, meaning any other January business is unlikely to be impacted.

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