Premier League • England

Chelsea take huge leap towards smashing Premier League transfer record as Enzo Fernandez medical set

Julian Alvarez, Enzo Fernandez and Alexis Mac Allister

Chelsea are now on the verge of completing the record-breaking signing of midfielder Enzo Fernandez after reportedly organising a medical for him in Portugal.

Chelsea were in negotiations with Benfica for Fernandez early in the January transfer window. However, it emerged on January 9 that Benfica would not be selling him to the Stamford Bridge side.

At the time, Benfica boss Roger Schmidt complained about Chelsea trying to tap Fernandez up without having any intention of meeting his €120million (£105m) release clause.

It looked like the World Cup winner would therefore remain in Portugal, at least until the end of the season.

However, Chelsea recently re-opened discussions with Benfica for the monumental signing. And they reached an agreement for him on Monday. Should the transfer go through, then Fernandez would become the most expensive Premier League player of all time.

Personal terms should not be an issue, as Fernandez wants the move and will be picking up a significant pay rise when departing Benfica.

But before Fernandez can officially become a Chelsea player he must pass a medical. And with the 11pm deadline looming, Blues chiefs have moved quickly to organise one.

According to Sky Sports’ live transfer blog (31/01, at 15:49), Chelsea have set his medical for this afternoon in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. Should he pass the tests, then the two clubs will then be able to proceed with the necessary paperwork.

Chelsea hope to avoid complete £105m payment

While Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly has agreed to pay £105m for the 22-year-old, he is unwilling to do this in one lump sum. This will have implications for both tax and Financial Fair Play rules.

Therefore, it is likely Chelsea will pay some of the total fee through instalments. Just how much will be paid through instalments remains to be seen.

Fernandez’s arrival in west London was expected to see Conor Gallagher leave. However, The Athletic journalist David Ornstein reports that Gallagher will remain at Chelsea for the rest of the campaign.

Graham Potter’s team were willing to let the Englishman go this month, but only if a permanent bid came in and at the right price. However, no offers have met their valuation and so Gallagher will be staying put.

Meanwhile, a recent Chelsea arrival is the subject of crucial last-minute talks about a transfer to France.