Benfica want to block Chelsea by raising Enzo Fernandez’s release clause to €150m

    Enzo Fernandez is under contract at Benfica until 2027 (Picture: Getty)
    Enzo Fernandez is under contract at Benfica until 2027 (Picture: Getty)

    Benfica want to raise Enzo Fernandez’s release clause to €150m (£132m) to block a transfer to Chelsea, according to reports.

    Chelsea failed to agree a deal for the Argentina international earlier this month but are planning a renewed push for him before the January window closes having maintained close contact with his agent in recent weeks.

    Fernandez, 22, has been the subject of intense interest from Chelsea, who were prepared to pay over his current €120m (£105m) release clause.

    An offer of £112m was tabled but Chelsea asked for it to be paid in three yearly instalments, with Benfica adamant he would only leave if his clause was paid in full.

    Chelsea also tried to tempt Benfica with an offer of £79m along with Hakim Ziyech and two other players on loan.

    But those approaches have been rejected and the Portuguese club are now looking to raise his release clause from €120m (£105m) to €150m (£132m) to fend off interest in their star player, according to Record.

    Chelsea, though, could still be tempted to table a late offer for Fernandez with the January transfer window set to close in two days.

    Enzo Fernández of SL Benfica looks on during the Liga
    Enzo Fernandez has registered four goals and seven assists for Benfica this term (Picture: Getty)

    The Blues have splashed the cash since Todd Boehly replaced Roman Abramovich in the summer, with their total spending now at £468.6m.

    The west London club have already made six signings in the January window – Mykhailo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos and Noni Madueke on permanent deals and Joao Felix on loan – and may well still try and make Fernandez number seven.

    However, Benfica head coach Roger Schmidt says Fernandez is ‘not thinking about’ a move to Chelsea and is confident he will not leave the club this month.

    Asked if he was confident of Fernandez staying, Schmidt said: ‘Yes. When you see Enzo playing for Benfica you see a very happy player, in great shape.

    ‘He’s not thinking about anything else. I’m not expecting to lose any of our regulars, and that’s why I see very focused players and I hope this stays that way’.

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

    MORE : Benfica respond to Chelsea’s late attempt to revive Enzo Fernandez transfer


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