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Chelsea Transfer: Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea transfer latest: Deal not over, Ziyech swap, £70m bid, Caicedo talks



Chelsea Transfer: Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea transfer latest: Deal not over, Ziyech swap, £70m bid, Caicedo talks

Chelsea transfer news: The latest on Enzo Fernandez as the Blues compete against Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester City in the January transfer window

All the latest news and updates on Argentina World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez’s proposed transfer from Benfica to to Chelsea
All the latest news and updates on Argentina World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez’s proposed transfer from Benfica to to Chelsea

Enzo Fernandez’s future looks set to remain a talking point right up until the closure of the January transfer window. Chelsea have been keen on signing the Argentina World Cup winner, but a deal has proved difficult for Todd Boehly.

The Blues have been locked in talks since the January transfer window officially opened, although a deal looked to be off when Benfica boss Roger Schmidt said the “question was closed” over a trnsfer deal. However, that may not be the case.

The Blues are in the market for a new midfielder having not signed one permanently since paying Real Madrid £40million for Mateo Kovacic’s services following a loan in 2018. Jorginho and N’Golo Kante are both out of contract at the end of the season and the latter hasn’t played due to injury since August.

Graham Potter is keen on adding new players to his squad after taking over from Thomas Tuchel back in September with Chelsea currently sat 10th in the Premier League. Alongside Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham as main targets in 2023 there is Edson Alvarez from Ajax too.

The 21-year-old Benfica star was victorious with his country over the winter and has now attracted the attention of some of the top clubs across Europe, including Chelsea. With that being said, brings you up to speed with the latest on his potential move to Stamford Bridge.

Swap deal

Benfica has maintained from the start that Fernandez’s £106million release clause be met for a transfer to be completed. Chelsea have remained reluctant to do that, although they have offered instalments in an offer for the Argentinian.

And it has been reported that players have been used as part of the bargaining chip to get the deal done. Hakim Ziyech has been offered as a permanent swap deal, with January arrivals David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos joining Benfica on loan as part of the deal too.

Benfica though grew unhappy with Chelsea’s attempts to spread the cost of the deal, instead wanting to receive it all at once, thus resulting in the Blues moving on to other transfer targets leaving Fernandez, who had pushed for a move away, looking likely to remain in Portugal.

Race not over

In an unlikely twist, the future of Fernandez may not be as set in stone as it appears. In an interview with GiveMeSport, Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth said: “Fernandez has had a few issues. He’s been dropped for a game, he’s tried to make peace with the club.

“There was a couple of social media posts of him watching the game at the stadium. He’s back in training now.

“The people I’m speaking to in Portugal who’ve got close links to Benfica, are telling me this one doesn’t feel over, simply because his head was turned so much earlier in the window.”

With two weeks to go there is still time for another turn in this saga.

Moises Caicedo bid

According to Simon Phillips via GiveMeSport, the Blues are expected to make a first official enquiry to sign Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo this week. He wrote: “I’ve been told to expect a first offer from Chelsea this week to test the waters.

“The key will be if Chelsea can agree a fee with Brighton, and if they are willing to spend the £70million quoted fee that it will take for Brighton to allow their star midfielder to go this month.”

Schmidt claim

Benfica manager Roger Schmidt has once again been discussing the future of Fernandez after talks collapsed over his proposed move to Chelsea, admitting he believes the deal is “closed”.

“I already said that, this question is closed. He’s (Enzo Fernandez) one of our players. He’s happy, training well, he’s part of the team. Everything has been said.”

New Fernandez plan

After the game Schmidt explained what was next for Fernandez, who missed his first league game of the season amid the speculation linking him to Chelsea. He said: “Now we restart from zero with Enzo. He will be back today, we count on him – he’s our player, we need Enzo.”

Roger Schmidt responds

Ahead of Benfica’s 1-0 win over Portimonense Benfica head coach Roger Schmidt was bullish when asked about his star player, firing back at Chelsea’s approach, he said: “We do not want to sell Enzo. Not me, not the president, nobody. We know, everyone knows he has a clause in the contract and if the player wants to leave and someone comes and pays the clause of course we cannot work against that. Then maybe we will lose the player.

“There is a club who want our player. They know we don’t want to sell the player. They tried to get the player on their side and they know they can only get this player when they pay the clause. It is a very clear situation. What the club is doing, it is disrespectful against all of us, against Benfica and I cannot accept what they are doing.

‘”So to make the player crazy, and then to pretend they can pay the clause and then later they want to negotiate, it is not what I understands to be good relationship between clubs who want to discuss players.”

Talks ‘collapse’ as Benfica insist on £105m release clause

The 21-year-old was a standout performer at the World Cup – winning the tournament’s Young Player Award after Lionel Messi and his teammates beat France to win become world champions. The latest reports suggest that Fernandez’s dream move to the Premier League has ‘collapsed’ with Benfica insisting that Chelsea must pay his release clause or there will be no deal.

According to Fabrizio Romano, the Blues have not scheduled a new meeting with the Lisbon-based side after talks over a deal structured with three instalment payments collapsed. Chelsea are said to have officially bid £75million for the 21-year-old, a fee that falls well below Fernandez’s release clause.

Pay structure revealed with deal at ‘advanced stage’

Chelsea and Benfica agreed the exact structure of the transfer of Enzo Fernandez on Monday, as first revealed by Felix Johnston. The Portuguese club could receive up to €130million (£114million) for their midfield star, with €120million (£105.9m) arriving across three equal instalments, with the remaining €10million (£8.8million) available as performance-related add-ons.

Gianluca Di Marzio supported this claim, revealing the deal is at an ‘advanced stage’ and the final details are the only thing left to be sorted.

‘Total agreement’ reached

Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea was reported to be ‘close’, according to reports earlier in the window.

Benfica had ‘opened the door’ to the transfer and expect a ‘total agreement’ to be reached in the first week of January.

Roger Schmidt admission

Following the decision to start Enzo Fernandez in Benfica’s league return against Braga, a game which they lost 3-0, manager Roger Schmidt has delivered a honest verdict on the future of the 21-year-old.

“I don’t know if this was Enzo’s last match,” he admitted to SLBenfica. “He’s been a great player since he arrived at Benfica. Sometimes in football things happen and players have to make a decision. Let’s see what happens next week.”

Benfica playing hardball

Benfica aren’t willing to let Fernandez go without a fight and have reportedly tried to convince their star to remain in Portugal until the end of the season. It’s also said that Chelsea’s struggles this season have been used as a way to put him off joining them in January.

The offer of a new deal, an extra bonus and increasing the release clause by £70million have all been discussed too, though it is thought he would be able to leave in the summer for less than the new price regardless.

Chelsea signal intent
It is reported in Portugal and via several UK journalists that Chelsea have stepped up their interest in Fernandez ahead of the January window.

Simon Phillips writes: “Chelsea have ‘started the groundwork’ to sign Enzo Fernandez. We’ve spoken to his agent regarding a move & registered our official interest.”

O Jogo write that Rui Costa, Benfica club president and Rui Pedro Braz, sporting director, have begun looking for a replacement for the player, lining up Carlos Alvarez from Racing.

It is also written in CMTV that Chelsea representatives have recently travelled to Lisbon to negotiate a deal and to formalise their interest.

Liverpool interest

Liverpool are one of a number of clubs interested in signing the midfielder and according to Diario Record, one club has made a €100million (£87.9million) bid for him.

The report states that it was rejected, with the Portuguese side holding out for €120million (£105.5million) but Liverpool are said to have not been the team making the move.

Manchester United, Real Madrid and Manchester City are also said to be in the mix to the sign the former River Plate star.

Release clause

According to Portuguese outlet Record, the youngster has a €120million (£106.2million) release clause having only joined from River Plate in the summer and will only leave Benfica in January should a club meet that figure.

Fernandez only joined Benfica over the summer, moving from home country Argentina for just £10million. No matter when or where he goes next the Portuguese side are likely to make a massive return on their investment.

Understandably they are keen on keeping him until the end of the season rather than selling midway through a campaign.

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