Chelsea will have to pay the ‘full amount’ of Enzo Fernandez’s release clause if they want to land the Benfica star at Stamford Bridge this month, transfer insider Dean Jones has told GiveMeSport.
Graham Potter, who was appointed as the Blues’ head coach in September, is looking to bolster his squad during the January window.
Chelsea transfer news – Enzo Fernandez
According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea will push to reach an agreement with Benfica this week and discussions over Fernandez are at an advanced stage.
Speaking to CaughtOffside, the respected journalist has revealed the Portuguese giants’ president Rui Costa is unwilling to sanction the midfielder’s exit unless his £106million release clause is met.
Chelsea are willing to pay more than that figure as they are eager to structure the deal to their advantage and submitted a £115million bid.
The west Londoners have been boosted in their pursuit as Fernandez has already confirmed he is open to making the move, while fellow suitors Liverpool and Manchester United have yet to table an offer.
Respected journalist Simon Phillips recently told GiveMeSport that Chelsea are ‘pushing hard’ to sign the Argentina international during the early stages of 2023.
What has Dean Jones said about Fernandez?
Jones believes Benfica are keen to hold onto Fernandez and fend off interest from his numerous suitors.
The reliable journalist understands the Portuguese side are seeking the release clause written into the South American’s contract and their desire to recoup the fee upfront will not change.
Jones told GiveMeSport: “I know that Benfica’s view is ‘why should we?’ because the player’s stock is so high and so many clubs are interested in him.
“They want the full amount and that’s fair enough given the terms of the clause they have right now. I don’t think Benfica are going to budge on this.”
Read more: January Transfer Window 2023: When Does It Begin, Rumours and Everything You Need To Know
Should Chelsea meet Benfica’s demands?
Fernandez has been in fine form this season, registering eight goal contributions in 25 Benfica appearances, according to Transfermarkt.
But the most memorable moment of his career came last month, when he played a key role in Argentina winning the World Cup.
WhoScored data shows Fernandez was his nation’s fourth-best performer in Qatar as he was handed a rating of 7.06, while he also clinched the Young Player of the Tournament award.
However, he had also been making a huge impact prior to the competition and FBref statistics demonstrate he ranks in the 99th percentile for passes into the final third, through balls and progressive passes among his positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues over the last year.
With that being the case, looking to sign Fernandez should remain a priority for Chelsea and they should do all they can to tempt Benfica into sanctioning a deal.
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