Liverpool to approach Benfica over signing of ‘complete midfielder’ as hefty Jude Bellingham price emerges

Enzo Fernandez

After discovering how much it will cost to sign Jude Bellingham, Liverpool have begun to target alternative midfielders and are reportedly looking at Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez.

Bellingham has been brilliant for Borussia Dortmund since joining them from Birmingham City in July 2020. So far he has made 100 appearances for the German club, registering 13 goals and 18 assists.

The 19-year-old is a regular in the Dortmund starting eleven and is beginning to make his mark for England too.

Liverpool would love to sign Bellingham to ensure their midfield is successful going forwards. However, Reds chiefs are worried about the potential cost of his transfer given Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid also want to complete a deal.

According to The Athletic, Dortmund are demanding an eye-watering £131million for Bellingham. The Sun claim their expectations are lower and they will instead sell him for £83m.

Either way though, Liverpool will have to spend big to sign the teenager. They are wary about getting into a bidding war and are resultantly looking at alternative signings.

Fernandez became a potential target for Jurgen Klopp’s side on Monday. As per the Liverpool Echo, who cite reports in Portugal, Liverpool ‘don’t rule out’ going after the Benfica man.

Sport Witness provide an update on the situation, while citing reports coming out of Spain. They claim Liverpool are preparing to make contact with Benfica to discover how much Fernandez could cost.

Enzo Fernandez cheaper than Bellingham, despite big release clause

The 21-year-old’s Benfica contract includes a major release clause sitting at £107.3m (€120m). However, this is only to prevent Fernandez from going on the cheap, and Benfica will not actually hold out for this sum.

Liverpool know this, too. Darwin Nunez had a €150m release clause at Benfica before moving to Anfield. But his Liverpool transfer instead cost an initial £64m (€75m), while it could rise to £85m (€100m) through add-ons.

As such, Liverpool will be able to knock a big chunk of that £107.3m release clause off when it comes to Fernandez.

The report labels him a ‘very complete midfielder’ who is capable of ‘balancing’ Klopp’s midfield. He can support the attack and aid the defence in equal measure.

Sport Witness don’t mention whether Benfica are looking to sell Fernandez at this moment in time. He has played in all of their matches so far this season so it is likely they will want to keep him.

Due to this, the Primeira Liga outfit will hold out for as much money as possible if Liverpool come calling.

Arriving in the Premier League would cap off a rapid rise for the Argentine. He only moved to Europe in the summer by joining Benfica from River Plate.

But 13 matches later he has made a big impression and is already getting the attention of Liverpool officials.

Benfica could make a huge profit on the one-cap international. They only signed him for £10.8m and could get more than £40m in a future transfer window.

Meanwhile, Moises Caicedo has made an admission about a future transfer amid links with Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea.