Chelsea have submitted a bid worth £114m for Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez, according to reports from Portugal.
The Lowdown: Fernandez transfer links
It was reported earlier this month that Liverpool had reached a pre-contract agreement with the 21-year-old, although there has been no development in this regard since, and the race for his signature appears to be wide-ranging.
Portuguese outlet O Jogo later detailed that the Reds had stepped up their advances to sign the Argentina midfielder, while also naming Manchester United as another interested party.
However, the transfer battle appears to have now been blown wide open by Chelsea, who have recently launched an official bid…
The Latest: Chelsea bid £114m for Fernandez
It remains to be seen whether he will be tempted by a move to Stamford Bridge, although Benfica president Rui Costa has already held talks with the starlet in the hope of convincing him to stay.
A report from talkSPORT stated that both Liverpool and Manchester United were told they would need to pay his £105m release clause, although Chelsea appear to have stolen a march on the northwest duo by submitting an offer in excess of that figure.
The Verdict: Worth it?
Chelsea have been known for getting some big-money transfers wrong in the past, with Romelu Lukaku’s second stint at the club never really working out after joining for £97.5m in the summer of 2021. Also, more would have been expected from £71.6m goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has been culpable of some shocking errors in his time at the club.
Consequently, it is important that the Blues get this signing right, although the former River Plate midfielder appears to have all the right qualities to be a success at Stamford Bridge, particularly flourishing with his passing ability.
In 2022, Fernandez has averaged 96.83 passes per 90, highlighting his willingness to get on the ball and make things happen, ranking him in the 99th percentile among positional peers in Europe’s major leagues.
An average of 9.5 progressive passes per 90 is also indicative of his forward-thinking way of playing, always looking to advance the ball up the pitch into more promising areas.
With Jorginho reportedly set to leave at the end of the season upon the expiry of his contract, there seems little doubt that Chelsea would need a new central midfielder, and World Cup winner Fernandez would appear to be a fantastic prospective acquisition for Graham Potter.
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