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Enzo Fernandez makes huge late Chelsea decision as Benfica transfer talks ‘advance’




Chelsea have stepped up their pursuit of Enzo Fernandez as they hope to secure a deal before the end of the January transfer window.

Todd Boehly and Co are looking to make the 22-year-old their eighth and final signing of the month, but time is running out to strike a deal with Benfica for his signature.

Benfica have constantly referred to Fernandez’s €120 million release clause after talks broke down at the beginning of the window, however discussions have reopened in the last week in a bid to land the World Cup winner.

Chelsea have been reluctant to trigger the release clause and want to agree a deal in instalments, but Benfica’s stance of not wanting to let him go until the summer is proving to be a problem.

However, David Ornstein now reports talks have advanced following the ‘continued help’ of intermediary Jorge Mendes in recent days.

Chelsea have been unwilling to pay the full £106 million so far, however they may now be willing to go to such lengths if payment terms are right.

Whether or not a deal will be agreed remains unclear, the report continues, but Chelsea are doing everything they can to land the blockbuster deal.

It has been previously claimed that Christopher Vivell, who is heavily involved in the deal, could fly to Portugal with a larger group of club delegates on Monday if negotiations progress.

Meanwhile, although Fernandez won’t push for a move, the midfielder has informed Benfica of his preference ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.

According to Record Portugal, Fernandez ‘prefers to leave’ Benfica this month and hopes president Rui Costa will accept Chelsea’s offer of €120 million due to that being the value of the release clause.

It’s a deal which is set to go to the wire. With Benfica playing Arouca on Tuesday night, Chelsea can’t leave it too late and will be keen to make significant progress on Monday if the Argentine is to switch Red for Blue this month.