REVEALED: Benfica’s response to Chelsea’s fresh move for Enzo Fernandez as midfielder set to make demand

January 24th, 2023 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Benfica still have no intention of selling Enzo Fernandez this month despite Chelsea preparing to revive their interest in the midfielder with a late offer, according to reports.

The west London club had pushed hard to try and lure World Cup winner Fernandez to Stamford Bridge at the start of the month only for the deal to seemingly fall apart.

But, after unsuccessfully exploring other options – such as Brighton’s Moses Caicedo and even Tottenham summer signing Yves Bissouma – Chelsea are now thought to be readying a fresh attempt to land Fernandez.

However, Portuguese newspaper Record report that Benfica will once again resist any approach for the 22-year-old and he will only leave the club if his €120million (£105m) release clause is paid in full.

Benfica’s answer will be the same, with club president Rui Costa ready to tell Chelsea – not for the first time – that they must pay the release clause.

The issue with that from Chelsea’s point of view is that the figure would have to be deposited in full immediately, which they simply cannot do.

According to Record, Chelsea have remained in contact with Fernandez’s agent throughout the month and the midfielder is ready to demand a €2m loyalty bonus that he believes he is entitled to if Benfica continue to block a move.

The west London club are also conscious of growing interest from other teams, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, and fear added competition for the Argentine in the summer.

Speaking last week, Benfica boss Roger Schmidt said of his in-demand midfielder: “The issue with Enzo is closed. There is no issue anymore.

“So he is our player, he is in a very good condition, he is training well, he is happy here, he is part of the squad and he is a key player. So I think I have already said everything about him.”

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