Benfica are looking to increase the release clause for the highly in-demand Enzo Fernandez, according to Portuguese outlet Record.
Off the back of a stellar World Cup campaign, Fernandez has established himself as one of the most promising midfielders in football at the tender age of 21.
This has seen Chelsea become hot on his trails over the last couple of weeks with the Premier League outfit keen to continue their winter spending spree.
Chelsea had earlier shown signs of meeting Benfica’s asking price of €120 million, albeit in instalments, before the Blues tabled a significantly reduced €85m offer much to the dismay of the Benfica head coach Roger Schmidt.
“We don’t want to sell Enzo, neither I nor the president,” Schmidt was quoted saying (via Express).
“We all know that he has a clause in his contract – if he wants to leave and if someone pays this clause, we can do nothing.
“There is a club who want our player, they know we don’t want to sell, they try to get the player on their side when they know they can only get this player when they pay the clause.
“To make the player crazy, to pretend they can pay the clause and later they want to negotiate.”
To further consolidate their control over Fernandez’s future, Benfica are now planning to raise his buy-out clause by a further €30m, while also rewarding him with a €2m compensation package.
Should they manage to keep hold of Fernandez beyond the end current window which closes on Tuesday, As Aguias will be expecting increased summer interest in their most-prized asset.
Chelsea are expected to keep up their pursuit of the Argentinian, while Real Madrid and Liverpool could also join the mix given their need for reinforcement in the centre of the pitch.
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