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Chelsea transfer news: Blues want Benfica's Enzo Fernandez in January but £105m release clause sticking point

Chelsea are prepared to meet Benfica's valuation of Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez, but only in instalments; Fernandez' release clause is £105m; the 21-year-old only made the switch to Benfica from River Plate in the summer of 2022

Argentina's Enzo Fernandez celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup group C soccer match between Argentina and Mexico, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)
Image: Enzo Fernandez celebrates scoring for Argentina at the World Cup last month

Chelsea are locked in talks with Benfica to sign World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez in January.

With a release clause of €120m, roughly £105m, the Argentina midfielder would become the Premier League's most expensive signing.

But Sky Sports News have been told Chelsea are not prepared to pay his release clause in full, and instead want to pay it in instalments. If they can do a deal in instalments, they are prepared to pay more than the £105m release clause to get the deal done as quickly as possible.

Argentina's Enzo Fernandez poses receives the Young Player award after the FIFA World Cup Final match at Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail, Qatar on Dec. 19, 2022. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images )
Image: Argentina's Fernandez receives the Young Player award at Qatar 2022

Benfica would like Fernandez to stay and to sign a new contract, having only been at the club since the summer.

There has been no progress on this deal in the last 24 hours, despite reports elsewhere the Blues were getting closer overnight on Monday.

Sky Sports News has been told these reports, some of which also claim they will pay the clause in full without instalments, are not correct.

'Chelsea want to blow competition out the water'

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The Transfer Show team give an update on Benfica and Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez and a potential move to the Premier League

Dharmesh Sheth on Sky Sports News:

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"Chelsea want to pay it so they can blow the competition out of the water. They don't want to worry about the summer. They want to back Graham Potter. Chelsea's form has been indifferent under Potter of late. But the owners want to back him. What a statement to make from the Chelsea hierarchy.

"Benfica don't want to sell Enzo Fernandez mid-season. But, could they be tempted by a deal where a release clause is set, but then someone comes in and says we'll go even higher than that release clause - because chances are, they won't get that money offered again."

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this winter? The January transfer window opened on Sunday January 1, 2023 and will close at 11pm on Tuesday January 31, 2023.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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