By Adegboyega Adeleye
Chelsea have opened negotiations with Benfica for the transfer of Enzo Fernandez after the Argentine midfielder agreed to move to Stamford Bridge.
Fernandez is one of the brightest midfield talents on the globe and one of the most sought-after players in Europe.
Liverpool and Manchester United have both earlier shown interest in the 21-year-old, but have been put off by Benfica’s insistence that he will only be sold if a club activates his £106 million release clause.
However, after informally contacting the Argentine, Chelsea have now convinced the midfielder to move to Stamford Bridge.
According to Fabrizio Romano, The Blues believe they can use Fernandez’s agreement to negotiate a lower price as Chelsea are now in active talks with Benfica over a transfer.
The 21-year-old’s stock has continued to rise since the World Cup ended with a number of Premier League clubs interested in signing the midfielder who was named the Young Player of the 2022 FIFA World Cup after displaying superb performances for the Argentine team.
The young star scored one goal and set up one more to help La Albiceleste win their third World Cup title, having also starred for Benfica since arriving from River Plate in the summer.
According to The Times, Chelsea’s contingency plan is to sign 24-year-old Brighton and Argentina midfielder Alexis Mac Allister if the move to sign Enzo Fernandez falls through.
Graham Potter has identified midfield as an area in need of urgent investment, given the uncertainty over the futures of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho.
After the Blues’ mixed start to the campaign, club owner Todd Boehly has promised more funds to Graham Potter despite a £300 million spend in the summer.