Liverpool transfer hopes rekindled as Klopp backed to fight two major clubs for dominant World Cup star
Liverpool could go back on the hunt for Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez in the summer after missing out on his signature this month, according to a transfer insider.
Fernandez had a brilliant World Cup, playing in all of Argentina’s seven matches as they won the trophy for the first time since 1986. The central midfielder was an integral part of Lionel Scaloni’s team and ended up winning the young player of the tournament award, too.
Fernandez became heavily linked with a Premier League move after his excellent displays in Qatar. Liverpool were backed to swoop in for him in January to solve their midfield issues.
Chelsea soon joined the race to sign him from Benfica. Blues chairman Todd Boehly was hoping to agree a deal at around £74million. But Benfica were determined to receive his full release clause. That stands at £105m.
Chelsea’s hopes of landing the talented midfielder came crashing down on January 9. Benfica boss Roger Schmidt said: “There’s a club who want our player. They know we don’t want to sell the player.
“They tried to get the player on their side and they know they can only get this player when they pay the clause.
“So it’s a very clear situation, what the club is doing who wants to buy Enzo is disrespectful against all of us, against Benfica and I cannot accept what they are doing.
“To make the player crazy and to pretend they can pay the clause and later say they want to negotiate [a deal other than triggering the release clause] is not what I understand about good relationships between clubs who maybe want to discuss about a player.”
Liverpool, Chelsea now looking towards summer deal
There have been some rumours of Chelsea re-opening discussions with Benfica before the transfer deadline. But it now looks like the World Cup winner will be remaining in Portugal until the summer.
CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs has provided an update on the situation. Surprisingly, it seems Liverpool and Chelsea hopes of signing Fernandez are not dead and buried. Jacobs has predicted the two Premier League giants to battle Real Madrid for him once the transfer window reopens this summer.
“If nothing dramatic happens in January, there will definitely be an open race for him come summer,” the reporter tweeted. “Chelsea, Liverpool and even Real potentially. Completely different negotiation in four months.”
This update will come as a huge boost to Liverpool fans. It seems the Reds could pursue Fernandez at the end of the season, should their hopes of landing Jude Bellingham fail.
Chelsea supporters will also welcome this information provided by Jacobs. The Blues have been looking into a deal for Moises Caicedo this month, but they could now wait and go all guns blazing for Fernandez later this year.
What is especially interesting is that Jacobs calls it a ‘completely different negotiation in four months’. This suggests Benfica could lower their demands for their prized asset. After all, the January window always has inflated price tags due to it being mid-season.
After missing out on a Premier League switch this winter, Fernandez could yet move to England after all.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have tied down an exciting young player to a new long-term contract.