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Chelsea ‘ready to trigger’ Enzo Fernandez’s release clause as Benfica transfer talks continue

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(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Chelsea have told Benfica they are prepared to trigger midfielder Enzo Fernandez’s release clause, according to reports.

After a breakout and impressive World Cup with winners Argentina, Fernandez has caught the eye of several clubs around Europe, including Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool.

Fernandez has a £105 million release clause, which would have to be paid upfront, and Chelsea are, as reported by Nizaar Kinsella, ready to meet it and pay the big-money fee.

Reports on Tuesday evening claimed Chelsea were ready to make a club-record move for the 21-year-old and they have now been backed by reports out of England.

Chelsea officials held talks with Benfica president Rui Costa and super-agent Jorge Mendes, and informed them of their interest in the Argentina international.

One other club is reported to be in the race for Fernandez next month as Chelsea look to strengthen their midfield.

Graham Potter could lose both Jorginho and N’Golo Kante at the end of the season on free transfers when their contract expires, leaving Chelsea needing to bolster their midfield.

Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham are targets of the club but Chelsea are ready to make a blockbuster move next month to add to Potter’s midfield to ensure the club have a competitive squad to compete in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

Potter was quizzed on Chelsea’s activity next month, as well as the interest in Benoit Badiashile of AS Monaco, however remained focused on the squad currently at his disposal.

“My answer is I don’t speak about anyone that isn’t a Chelsea player,” responded the 47-year-old.

“There are lots of people who get linked to this club and I’d be wasting your time and mine if I responded to every one.

“I always say the club’s responsibility is to try to improve the team but my job is to try to improve the players we have here and the team. That’s what I’ll be focused on.”

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