Chelsea has allegedly failed with a players-plus-cash approach to capture Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
The Argentine international, who was a key cog in his team’s World Cup victory, has been linked to the Blues throughout the holiday break.
The 21-year-old Young Player of the Tournament has been courted by a number of major teams despite having played at the Estadio da Luz for only five months.
However, with Benfica demanding Fernandez’s £106m release clause be paid in full, only Chelsea has continued with trying to arrange a deal.
It was reported earlier this week that Benfica president Rui Costa had decided selling the former River Plate player was the only option.
It then looked that Chelsea was prepared to pay over Fernandez’s release clause in three annual installments to finalize a deal.
Over the past 24 hours, however, rumors have arisen that claim that Benfica is asking for £106m in one payment or no transaction would occur.
According to Record, Chelsea replied that they would be willing to part with £87 million and three players, one of whom has not yet been confirmed as a member of the club.
The Blues’ management reportedly has no problem with promising prospect Andrey Santos being loaned out to Portuguese club Vasco da Gama right away if doing so improves their chances of signing Fernandez.
Benfica reportedly isn’t too keen on the deal, which would also involve Hakim Ziyech and David Datro Fofana (the latter is currently on loan).
Graham Potter sees Ziyech as a squad player, and the playmaker may leave Stamford Bridge before the month is up despite his impressive performance for Morocco at the World Cup.
Potter said at a news conference on Wednesday that a decision had not been made about the short-term future of the Ivory Coast international Fofana, who just joined Chelsea from Molde.
Knowing that Fernandez might get attention from other clubs this summer, West London must now decide whether to make another offer for the player or contemplate accepting Benfica’s demands.
The rumor is that Fernandez has already told Benfica that he wants to leave for Chelsea before the month is through.
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