Despite only moving to Benfica six months ago, the ex-River Plate man has caught the eye of several top clubs in Europe off the back of an excellent World Cup campaign.
Fernandez played a key role en route to his nation’s triumph in Qatar and deservingly came away with the Young Player of the Tournament award, fending off competition from Julian Alvarez and Josko Gvardiol.
English giants Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United have already linked with a potential swoop for the midfielder, while Real Madrid are also believed to hold an interest.
Shortly after reporting for duty yesterday following an 11-day break since the World Cup final, Fernandez met with the Benfica president Rui Costa, who had earlier ruled out a sale for the 21-year-old unless his release clause was met.
However, with Chelsea reportedly prepared to trigger the Argentinian’s mammoth €120 million release clause, his current employers have now taken steps to ward off any interest from their Premier League counterparts.
Benfica have offered to improve Fernandez’s contract by a further €8m in performance-related add-ons.
The Primeira Liga outfit also want to increase his release clause by €80m but would be prepared to let him leave if the new fee is met.
Having only just sold Darwin Nunez to Liverpool last summer for a deal potentially rising to €100m, Benfica could be set for another windfall either in January or next summer.
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