Fernandez has emerged as Chelsea’s top midfield target for the January transfer window following his impressive performances during Argentina’s successful World Cup campaign last month.
However, Chelsea have been unable to reach an agreement with Benfica as the Portuguese club are demanding that the 21-year-old’s €120m (£106m) release clause is met.
According to Record, Chelsea are unwilling to meet Fernandez’s release clause as they would need to pay it all up front and are instead looking at different ways to meet Benfica’s valuation.
The report claims that Chelsea’s latest bid comprises of €90m (£79.5m), Hakim Ziyech on a permanent deal, plus David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos on loan.
Fofana, a 20-year-old striker, has recently signed from Molde, while Santos, an 18-year-old midfielder, is on the verge of joining Chelsea from Vasco da Gama.
Meanwhile, Fernandez has made it clear to Benfica that he wants to join Chelsea this month after the Portuguese club’s president, Rui Costa, had tried to persuade him to stay for the rest of the season.
According to The Times, Fernandez was ‘unimpressed’ by the offer Benfica made to reward him for turning down Chelsea’s advances.
The report claims that Benfica will also discipline Fernandez for returning to Argentina without permission for his new year celebrations.
Fernandez, who Benfica signed from River Plate for €10m (£8.8m) in June, started in the 3-0 defeat to Braga last Friday.
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