BENFICA have reportedly slapped a whopping £105million price tag on Enzo Fernandez.
The midfielder was one of Argentina’s standout performers in their triumphant World Cup campaign, catching the eye of many with a string of solid performances.
But it’s claimed the duo will have to shatter the Prem‘s record transfer fee to acquire his services as Benfica have no intention of selling him for a penny less than his mammoth £105m release clause.
If Liverpool were to push through for a deal to sign Fernandez, it would shatter the club record £85m fee they paid Benfica for Darwin Nunez last summer.
United, meanwhile, would top their former world-record £89million fee for the recently-departed Paul Pogba.
The reported interest in Fernandez, who scooped the World Cup’s Young Player of the Tournament award, hasn’t shocked his international skippe Lionel Messi.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner said of 21-year-old: “I’m not surprised by Enzo.
“I know him and I see him train every day.
“He deserves it because he’s a spectacular player.”
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Newcastle United are also said to hold an interest in signing Fernandez, although manager Eddie Hearn recently suggested a swoop for the Argentine might be too pricey.
He said: “I apologise to Alan [Shearer], I think I was on the other channel. I’m aware of and I know him, but I think the transfer fee might be quite lumpy.
“From a recruitment perspective, I don’t think you ever just analyse the World Cup and sign a player off the back of those performances.
“There’s a huge body of work that goes into signing a player, so it’s never off four weeks.
“There will be a period of work that goes into that.
“That’s not to say we won’t use the World Cup as a recruitment tool to look at those players, but just solely on those games? No, we wouldn’t do that.”
Fernandez joined Benfica from River Plate in the summer for £9million plus add-ons, although he could’ve found himself playing for Manchester City.
City Football Group director Joan Patsy told: Què T’hi Jugues: “Manchester City could’ve signed Enzo Fernandez.
“But what do we do if we have Gundogan, Bernardo and Rodri in the squad?
“He would’ve cost us less than he did Benfica. But we didn’t have a place and we knew he wouldn’t play.”