Premier League • England

Enzo Fernandez transfer on brink of collapse as Chelsea offer of three players plus £79.5m falls short

Enzo Fernandez, Benfica, during Champions League - Group H - Paris St Germain v Benfica - Parc des Princes, Paris

Chelsea’s hopes of signing Enzo Fernandez are seemingly up in smoke after Blues co-owner Todd Boehly saw two proposals to sign the midfielder rejected by Benfica.

The Argentina midfielder has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the game since a bargain £8.9m move to the Portuguese capital last summer. And his performances in the Champions League have brought him to the attention of some of European football’s biggest clubs.

Indeed, the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool are among those to have been alerted by Fernandez’s development. However, demand for his services is now through the roof on the back of an excellent World Cup.

In helping his nation win the tournament for the third time in their history, Fernandez was also named Young Player of the Tournament.

And following Qatar 2022, it is Chelsea who have made a beeline to secure his services.

However, Benfica are in no mood to sell and are unwilling to compromise on his exit clause. That stands at a whopping £105.6m (€120m) – a fee which would shatter the British transfer record should anyone match it.

Astonishingly, Boehly has put together a plan to pay above and beyond that asking price. And it seems he was willing to pay £112m for Fernandez if Benfica were able to accept three instalments for his services over a three-year period.

However, Thursday’s Transfer Gossip revealed how Benfica were in no mood to accept that proposal. Instead, they either want the fee paid in its entirity up front or for an even higher package worth an estimated £119.2m (€135m). Either way, Benfica’s failure to accept Chelsea’s offer has presented Boehly with something of a problem.

Undeterred by that rejection, though, Record claims Chelsea have since come back with a second proposal.

Benfica reject cash plus three player offer for Enzo Fernandez

However, Benfica have once again batted away Chelsea’s efforts – with Record detailing the cash plus three player offer submitted.

Per the report, Boehly was willing to pay Benfica £79.5m (€90m). In addition, they are reportedly offering Hakim Ziyech, plus David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos on loan.

Ziyech has found game time hard to come by at Chelsea and is reportedly up for sale this month. It comes as no surprise to see him offered out as part of the deal.

Fofana, meanwhile, has only just signed for Chelsea; the promising striker arriving in a deal from Molde.

The latter of the three – Santos – is yet to finalise his switch to Stamford Bridge. However, he is due to arrive in the coming days to put the finishing touches to his transfer from Vasco da Gama.

However, Benfica president Rui Costa is reportedly irked by their latest proposal. After arriving in London for talks with Chelsea and alongside agent Jorge Mendes, he has quickly batted away their proposal.

But with Costa showing a lot of displeasure at Chelsea for reportedly turning Fernandez’s head, the negotiations are said to have been tense.

And he has snubbed their proposal, insisting they are not a finishing school for developing talents.

The report concludes that Costa left by demanding Fernandez’s full €120m clause is paid in its entirity up front. And with Mendes struggling to find a compromise, it seems the deal is in danger of collapsing.

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