Chelsea have confirmed the arrival of club-record signing of Enzo Fernandez from Benfica.
The Blues were locked in negotiations with Benfica towards the start of January but these reportedly had broken down as the Portuguese club demanded the release clause be met.
Weeks later, Chelsea returned to the table to negotiate a deal for the Argentina star, and have been successful in doing so after striking a late agreement on Deadline Day.
The 22-year-old joins after an impressive display at the World Cup in Qatar, where he lifted the trophy with his nation.
Fernandez has arrived for a club and British record sum. They have paid €121 million which will be staggered over six instalments, with River Plate receiving 25 percent of the fee, Benfica confirmed in a statement.
It read: “Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Futebol, SAD (Benfica SAD) reports that it has reached an agreement with Chelsea FC for the sale of all the rights of the player Enzo Fernández, for an amount of € 121,000,000 (one hundred and twenty-one million euros).
“It is further informed that Chelsea FC will have the right to retain the 3.78 percent solidarity mechanism for subsequent distribution to the clubs that participated in the player’s formation.
“In addition, Benfica SAD will have charges for intermediation services of 6.56 percent of the value of the sale deducted from the amount of solidarity and will also have to deliver to River Plate the amount corresponding to 25 percent of the transfer value deducted from the amounts of solidarity and intermediation services.”
Chelsea confirmed his arrival on Wednesday morning, writing on their website: “The Argentinian midfielder has completed his transfer from Benfica to Chelsea!”
Fernandez is to sign an eight-and-a-half-year contract in the capital, penning a long-term deal until June 2031.
The midfielder became Chelsea’s eighth and final acquisition of the January transfer window, joining David Datro Fofana, Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos (loan), Joao Felix, Mykhailo Mudyrk, Noni Madueke and Malo Gusto (loaned back to Lyon). Chelsea’s total spend for January surpassed £300 million.