Liverpool v Chelsea: Pictures
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Chelsea are reportedly closing in on securing the signature of Enzo Fernandez, having now agreed a deal with Benfica. The Blues are willing to pay more than his £105million to land the midfielder, prioritising the payment structure in negotiations.
The Blues have been desperate to sign a midfielder this month, having failed with bids for Amadou Onana and Moises Caicedo. However, Fernandez has remained their top target throughout, with his World Cup performances catching the eye.
Benfica have consistently pointed to the playmaker’s release clause in talks with Chelsea, though the club are not willing to pay the fee in one go. Instead, according to 90min, Graham Potter’s side have agreed to pay £115m in instalments.
Fernandez agreed personal terms at Stamford Bridge earlier this month in the first round of negotiations, which sparked uproar in Portugal after they collapsed as Chelsea offered lower than they had verbally agreed to. Though this was not an issue for the player, who remained keen on the move to Stamford Bridge.
If completed, Fernandez will become the most expensive signing of any Premier League team – a title currently owned by Jack Grealish after his £100m move to Manchester City. Of course, he also becomes a club record signing.
With N’Golo Kante and Jorginho both out of contract at the end of the season, finding at least one long-term successor for either of the pair was the priority heading into this month’s transfer window. And with Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek both attracting plenty of interest, Potter was firm with ensuring that he would not be left short of options in the centre of the park this month.
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