Enzo Fernandez to fly to London after Chelsea agree British record £105m deadline day transfer
Chelsea have reached an agreement to sign Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez for a British transfer record.
The 22-year-old is now set to fly by private jet to London to complete the transfer and the two clubs are working to complete the necessary paperwork with the deal sheet in after tonight’s 11pm deadline.
Fernandez will become the most expensive player in British football history, surpassing the £100million that Manchester City paid for Jack Grealish in 2021.
The move comes after a day of protracted negotiations between Chelsea co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali and Benfica senior staff, including president Rui Costa.
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Super-agent Jorge Mendes played a significant role behind-the-scenes to smooth a fractured relationship between the two clubs which was damaged during initial talks earlier this month.
Talks centred around a payment method that would suit both parties with Benfica wanting the full sum upfront, while Chelsea wanted to pay it in several instalments.
The financial package was important to Benfica, who did not need to sell the Argentina international due to their healthy financial position and with 25 per-cent due to their player’s former club River Plate.
Fernandez will welcome the move after skipping several training sessions to force a move to Stamford Bridge.
It follows a verbal agreement in early January over a seven-and-a-half-year contract with an option for an extra year.
Chelsea’s owners identified the Argentina midfielder as their top target in December while in Qatar watching him win the World Cup.
Fernandez was named young player of the tournament, while Chelsea’s new army of sporting directors highlighted how his club dataset made him suitable for Graham Potter’s rebuild.
Chelsea also knew both Jorginho and N’Golo Kante had just five months left on their current deals.
Jorginho opted to join Arsenal for £12m but there remains hope that Kante will renew his deal.
The Blues have now broken the world record spend by any football team, signing 17 players for well over £550million across the 2022-23 season.