Benfica manager Roger Schmidt has publicly criticised Chelsea for their pursuit of Enzo Fernandez.
The World Cup winning midfielder has been the Blues’ top target in the January transfer window.
The Portuguese side only signed him from River Plate in the summer, but phenomenal performances in Qatar have put the 21-year-old firmly in the sights of some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
After reports that Chelsea would activate his £106million release clause, there have been some twists and turns since then.
It now seems that the Blues do not want to pay the fee, instead offering around £87m, plus three players.
According to reports in Argentina, negotiations have broken down over this with Benfica insisting the full release clause be paid up front.
Schmidt took aim at the Premier League club for disrupting the player and for pretending they were willing to pay the release clause.
Schmidt said, per Portuguese outlet Record: “Enzo is a good guy and an extraordinary player, we want him to stay, the situation is not easy, he played in the World Cup, won the World Cup, had proposals, there is a lot of money at stake.
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“He is a young man player, this is confusing, we all understand this. But he is an excellent person.
“He was not authorised to go to Argentina, it is not acceptable, there will be consequences, I will not say which ones.
“We do not want to sell him, neither I nor the president. we know that there is a release clause, if he wants to leave and someone violates the clause, maybe we lose the player.
“There is a club that wants him, they tried to attract him, but they know that they can only have him if they pay the clause. It’s disrespectful to all of us, to Benfica, they’re driving the player crazy, they pretend they want to pay the clause and then they want to negotiate.
“About Enzo is all I’m going to say and I’m not going to answer any more questions about it.”
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