Enzo Fernandez responds to Chelsea’s renewed efforts to sign him this month


Enzo Fernandez will not push to leave Benfica this month as Chelsea prepare a new offer for the Argentina star. Chelsea were unable to agree a deal with Benfica earlier this month with the Portuguese giants reluctant to sell the midfielder for less than his £106million release clause.

The 21-year-old was eager to make the move, however, agreeing personal terms with the Premier League side. The midfielder also returned to Argentina without his club’s permission for New Year’s celebrations, skipping training in the process as he tried to force through the move.

Chelsea’s efforts angered Benfica, with head coach Roger Schmidt accusing the Blues of turning the midfielder ‘crazy’ and had only ‘pretended’ they could pay the release clause. While Fernandez had been desperate to join Chelsea this month, Record now he has now ‘changed his attitude’ over the move to Stamford Bridge and is fully committed to finishing the season in Portugal.

The Argentina international is also set to receive a €2million loyalty bonus should he remain at the club. In a further blow to Chelsea’s plans, Benfica are adamant they will not sell Fernandez for less than his £106million release clause.

Chelsea are thought to have offered to pay over that release clause earlier this month but asked for the £112m fee to split across three yearly instalments. Chelsea also tried to tempt Benfica with an offer of £79m along with Hakim Ziyech and two other players on loan.

After returning to the side earlier thit month, Fernandez scored in a 2-0 win in the quarter-final of the Portuguese Cup, tapping the club badge and pointing to the floor as he celebrated in a clear indication of his intent to stay.

‘I never had any doubts about his attitude or his personality. He’s a great person, he’s at Benfica and he loves playing for Benfica,’ Schmidt later said.

When asked if he expects the midfielder to remain at Benfica for the rest of the season, Schmidt replied: ‘I hope so.’

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