Chelsea have finally made a breakthrough in their pursuit of Enzo Fernandez and are preparing to smash the British transfer record on the Benfica midfielder.
The Blues were strongly linked with a move for World Cup winner Fernandez at the start of the transfer window, but talks broke down as Benfica insisted he was not for sale.
Despite Benfica’s stance, Chelsea revived their interest in Fernandez over the weekend, with Stamford Bridge owner Todd Boehly personally involved in talks.
Chelsea indicated they were ready to spend more than £100m to bring Fernandez to west London before the January transfer window shuts on Tuesday night.
Benfica have continued to dig their heels in, however, forcing Chelsea to increase their offer to around £115m – a British transfer record.
The staggering sum of money appears to have forced Benfica’s hand as The Times say Chelsea are now close to reaching an agreement to bring Fernandez to the Premier League.
It is claimed confidence is growing on both sides that the deal will be completed, with 22-year-old Fernandez on the verge of becoming the most expensive signing in Premier League history.
Fernandez only joined Portuguese outfit Benfica last summer but has already made a huge impact at the club and helped Argentina win the Qatar World Cup at the end of 2022.
He has a release clause of £105m but Chelsea have offered even more money to allow them to structure the payments in instalments, rather than pay up front.
More to follow…