‘We cannot prevent it’: Roger Schmidt admits Benfica are prepared to lose World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez if his release clause is met – as Chelsea ‘make British-record £115m offer’ for the Argentine star
Benfica boss Roger Schmidt has admitted they cannot prevent Chelsea target Enzo Fernandez leaving if a club is willing to pay the World Cup winner’s release clause.
Chelsea have been desperate to sign the 22-year-old throughout the January window and, having been met with resistance, the Blues are now confident they will get a deal over the line after reportedly launching a £115m bid.
The Blues had an offer of around £75m plus bonuses rejected for Fernandez earlier in the month. They then saw a bid of £112m – £6m more than his release clause – rejected as it was structured to be paid in three instalments totalling £37.3m each over three years.
Benfica boss Roger Schmidt has admitted they cannot prevent Enzo Fernandez leaving if a club pays the release clause
Chelsea have made several attempts to buy Fernandez and now feel confident about getting the deal over the line
But after it emerged that Chelsea had reopened talks so sign Fernandez, Schmidt said, as per A BOLA: ‘While the transfer windows are open, we have to be prepared for anything.
‘We all know that there is this situation with Enzo, who has a release clause and, if there is a club that pays it, it is a lot of money, we cannot prevent it.
‘If that happens, we will have to be prepared and find solutions. At the moment, Enzo is still our player and we’ll see what happens until the end of the market.
Chelsea are understood to be meeting Benfica officials in Lisbon on Tuesday and are prepared to pay his £106m release clause
‘When the transfer window closes I will be very happy, we will be able to focus completely again on playing in the best way until the end of the season.
′He’s our player and he has all the support. As I said before, he is a great person and a great player. While the market is open you always have to wait for something to happen, we know how the football business works. That’s all I can say on this subject.’
There are still negotiations ongoing in regard to the payment structure of Chelsea’s bid but the west London club are now confident of getting a deal done, according to The Telegraph.
It is understood that the Todd Boehly’s side have submitted a £115m offer that they plan to stagger across one large payment and five later payments.
Fernandez has been very public in his attempts to leave the Portuguese club during the January transfer window
While this isn’t Benfica’s ideal payment structure, the Blues are confident that they will be able to push through the deal.
Fernandez has been very public in his attempts to leave the Portuguese club during the January transfer window.
His stance remains unchanged and he has reiterated to Benfica that he wants them to strike a deal with Chelsea following their revived attempts to sign him.
The Portuguese club are also reluctant to sanction Fernandez’s departure so late in the window unless they receive an offer that is too good to turn down.
If a deal cannot be reached to sign Fernandez before Tuesday night’s deadline Chelsea are understood to be keen to try and get one pre-agreed for the summer, something sources say will be more appealing to Benfica.