Chelsea have reached an agreement with Benfica to sign Enzo Fernandez, according to Fabrizio Romano.
Negotiations for the Argentine midfield sensation began earlier this month but broke down as both clubs could not find an agreement over the player’s valuation.
However, over the last 48 hours, Chelsea returned with a stronger zeal to get the transfer completed before the deadline.
Benfica had been firm on their decision to keep the 21-year-old until next summer by demanding that his release clause be met by Chelsea.
However, Chelsea were relentless in their quest to bring the former River Plate man to Stamford Bridge and have now found a breakthrough.
Fernandez will add a fresh dynamic to Graham Potter’s side in the middle of the park, with the Argentina international comfortable playing both as a defensive midfielder or further up the pitch.
Negotiations for Fernandez went down to the wire, with Benfica finally shifting from their not-for-sale stance but holding out for a better payment structure.
Chelsea will reportedly pay a British record €120 million for the midfielder, which equals the release clause in the contract but rather than triggering it, the Blues will pay in instalments.
Fernandez will overtake Manchester City’s Jack Grealish as the most expensive player ever signed by a British club once the deal is finalised.
The west Londoners are now trying to wrap up the paperwork and get all necessary documents signed before the window slams shut.
Chelsea must submit the deal sheet before the Premier League’s 11.00 pm deadline and then could be given an additional two hours to finalise the transfer.
Fernandez, who pushed for the transfer but in a professional manner, will sign an eight-and-a-half-year contract with Chelsea until 2031.
The midfielder is currently undergoing medical examinations ahead of his move to Stamford Bridge and will become the eighth addition to Potter’s side this January.
Fernandez will replace former Chelsea vice-captain Jorginho who has joined Arsenal after the Gunners failed to persuade Brighton & Hove Albion to release top target Moises Caicedo this month.
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