Chelsea is about to close the most expensive winter transfer of all time. Gianluca Di Marzio reports that the Blues have almost agreed with Benfica about the arrival of Enzo Fernández. The Argentine midfielder will come over for a staggering €127 million, which will be transferred by Chelsea in three instalments.
Benfica will do unprecedented business with this because Fernández came over from River Plate for only twelve million euros last summer. The central midfielder played in the spotlight at the World Cup at numerous top clubs, of which Chelsea will win the battle. Manchester United and Liverpool were also interested but failed to make an offer. Benfica kept its leg stiff and continued to point to the escape clause in Fernández’s contract, which according to various media amounts to 120 million euros.
Fernández himself had already given his yes to Chelsea last Friday, which therefore had the certainty that the Argentinian’s personal conditions will not form a stumbling block. Roger Schmidt was faced with a dilemma when the Portuguese competition resumed on Friday, but Benfica’s German coach decided to simply put Fernández in the starting line-up against Sporting Braga. The South American’s last match in the shirt of Benfica ended in a disappointment: 3-0 loss, the first defeat ever under Schmidt.
Fernández’ move is thus the most expensive ever when it comes to January transfers, coming in at sixth place when summer deals are also factored in. Neymar, who went from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for €222 million, is still at the top, with teammate Kylian Mbappé in tow; AS Monaco received 180 million euros. This is followed by Philippe Coutinho (for 135 million euros from Liverpool to Barcelona), Ousmane Dembélé (for 140 million euros from Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona) and João Félix (for 127.2 million euros from Benfica to Atlético Madrid).