Enzo Fernandez tells Benfica he won’t play in their next game as Chelsea attempt to agree £112m fee


Enzo Fernandez has told Benfica he does not want to be involved in their game against Portimonense on Friday as he attempts to push through a move to Chelsea. The Blues have made a Premier League record offer of £112million to sign the Argentina star off the back of his impressive campaign out in Qatar.

Chelsea are hoping to pay that that fee in three yearly instalments of £37.5m with the club still in talks with Benfica who have asked for his release clause – worth £106m – to be paid in full this month. Talks between the two clubs continue, with Record suggesting on Tuesday Chelsea are now beginning to cool their interest with the move possibly to be delayed until the summer.

In any case, Fernandez remains keen to join Chelsea this month and has already agreed personal terms and a salary package with the Premier League side. Fernandez played 89 minutes in Benfica’s first game back after the World Cup last Friday, a 3-0 defeat to Braga. The 21-year-old then defied his club by returning to Argentina to ring in the New Year, missing training in the process.

Fernandez missed two further sessions on Monday but was pictured returning to training on Tuesday. The midfielder is likely to face disciplinary action from the club but according to O Jogo , he has informed Benfica he does not want to be involved in their next fixture set to take place on Friday evening. Fernandez is reportedly begging Benfica president Rui Costa to push through the move but the former midfielder is still hoping to keep the star in the Portuguese capital until the summer.

Fernandez, who only joined Benfica from River Plate in the summer, was seen tearing up on the bench in the closing stages of his side’s 3-0 defeat to Braga last week. Asked if the midfielder had played his last game for the club in his post match press conference, his manager Roger Schmidt said:

‘In my opinion Enzo played well today. ‘I don’t know if it was Enzo’s last game. He is a great player, since he arrived at Benfica he has played fantastic football. ‘And even as a person he is totally identified with the club. As I said before, in football sometimes things happen and players have to make decisions. Let’s see what happens in the coming weeks.’

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