Chelsea are preparing to give Enzo Fernandez his medical in Portugal ahead of a Premier League record £105m deal as the club race to meet Tuesday’s 11pm transfer deadline.
Sky Sports News understand club officials are in Lisbon as they work to get a deal over the line.
Chelsea have told Benfica they are prepared to pay his £105.85m (€120m) release clause.
The Argentinian World Cup-winner has informed Benfica again he wants to join Chelsea today.
Chelsea want to structure the payments in installments as paying in one go has financial fair play and tax implications.
Carragher: Chelsea’s approach feels scattergun
Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher on Chelsea’s approach in the transfer market under new owner Todd Boehly:
“It feels a bit scattergun, we thought that in the summer, I do think there is obviously a plan about what they want to do in the future,” he told Sky Sports News.
“I would be really interested to know what the manager’s private thoughts are as it feels like he has just come into this club and players are just coming in left, right and center and he has to build and something and create some sort of team.
“He will have great players, but can you create that sort of team ethic and bond that all great teams need in the future? But if you are a Chelsea fan, it is really exciting. Todd Boehly has come in and put his money where his mouth is and he wants to get Chelsea right back to the top.”
Merson questions Fernandez fee
Sky Sports’ Paul Merson on Chelsea’s pursuit of Enzo Fernandez:
“I don’t really like buying players on the back of World Cups. You need more than that. But he was outstanding. It’s a lot of money.
“This league is like no other league in the world, it’s so difficult. You have to take a chance along the way. Can he produce what he produced at the World Cup? Only time will tell.”
Analysis: What Fernandez will bring to Chelsea
Sky Sports’ Ron Walker:
“Fernandez’s attributes make it clear how he can help. Still only halfway through his first season with Benfica, he has racked up the second-most assists in the Primeira Liga, and created 30 chances for his team-mates – some of them particularly eye -catching, and a stunning pinpoint set-up for Goncalo Ramos against Sporting earlier this month perhaps the pick of the bunch.
“It is that kind of playmaking potential which had Manchester City and Real Madrid interested in bringing him in from boyhood side River Plate last summer before he settled on a move to Lisbon.
“No-one in the Portuguese top flight has made more passes than the Argentine, and if he does try to replace Jorginho at Stamford Bridge, he will also provide something extra in the final third where he tops the charts for passes too.
“Should Chelsea want to play with a midfield two, he would offer a better option there too. Fernandez has already taken responsibility without the ball at Benfica, slotting into an anchorman role regularly as required. He has been one of the league’s top tacklers, and only 10 players across the division have won the ball back more in the middle third despite his considerable output further up the pitch.”
Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports
Who will be on the move this winter? The January transfer window closes at 11pm in England and midnight in Scotland hon Tuesday January 31, 2023.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumors in our dedicated Transfer Center blog hon Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.