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Enzo Fernandez makes Benfica training ground return on Tuesday in bid to push through January Chelsea transfer



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IMAGO / @guelbergoes

Enzo Fernandez has been spotted returning to Benfica’s training ground on Tuesday morning as talks continue with Chelsea over a January transfer.

The 21-year-old returned to Argentina for New Year following Benfica’s 3-0 defeat to Braga on Friday but he didn’t have the permission of the club and went against the advice of manager Roger Schmidt.

He missed a double training session on Monday and was told to report back immediately by the club.

Chelsea have appeared to make a breakthrough in talks for the World Cup winner after it was reported that it’s expected they will pay a €127 million fee in three instalments, which will mean they will avoid having to trigger the €120 million release clause that would have to be paid upfront.

Benfica have been reluctant to allow Fernandez to leave mid-season but have softened their stance as time has passed by, giving Chelsea confidence that a deal can be finalised this month.

Fernandez has already agreed personal terms with Chelsea and is now waiting on a deal to be agreed between the clubs before he can fly to England to complete the rest of the transfer formalities.

After being handed an ultimatum by Benfica, Fernandez has been pictured by A Bola in Portugal returning to the Seixal training centre.

It’s claimed he will now speak with coach Schmidt and club president Rui Costa about the transfer as he looks to force through a move to join Graham Potter’s side.

Schmidt offered an update last week stating he had spoken with the midfielder already over his future, however he left the final decision to the player.

“When I talk to the players, these are things I keep to myself.

“What I can say is what I’ve already said. We all know what football is like. These young people have opportunities, and it’s not just about Enzo.

“If they have opportunities, they have to make decisions, and I respect them. I can advise them, but they only have one career. If I can convince them or influence them in a certain way, I try to do it, but I accept their decisions.”

Should Fernandez complete his transfer to Chelsea this month, it will smash the club’s record for a fee paid for a player. Romelu Lukaku’s £97.5 million move from Inter Milan currently leads the way.