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Chelsea: ‘Poker’ ongoing ‘in the background’ in Enzo Fernandez saga

Chelsea: ‘Poker’ ongoing ‘in the background’ in Enzo Fernandez saga -Chelsea News

Sky Sports Germany journalist Florian Plettenberg has revealed that there is ‘poker’ going on ‘in the background’ in Chelsea‘s pursuit of Enzo Fernandez.

The Lowdown: Benfica speak out

As quoted by The Times, Benfica manager Roger Schmidt has accused Chelsea of being ‘disrespectful’ in their pursuit of Fernandez, and ‘pretending’ to be interested in paying his £105m release clause.

The Blues have been negotiating with Benfica over a possible transfer for central midfielder in recent days, but sources from Stamford Bridge say that there has never been a point where they indicated any intention to trigger his clause.

Fernandez has pushed for the move and missed training last week, but after scoring for Benfica on Tuesday night, he tapped the badge on his shirt and pointed to himself as if to suggest that he is going to stay at the club.

The Latest: ‘Poker’ ongoing

Taking to Twitter, Plettenberg has revealed that ‘poker’ is going on ‘in the background’ with regards to the Fernandez saga, but a transfer to Chelsea looks ‘unlikely’ at this stage:

“News #Enzo: Understand the poker is ongoing in the background but at this stage a transfer is unlikely. Chelsea still not willing to pay the €120m release clause. They have other players on their list, similar profile but cheaper. #CFC won’t go all in for now.”

The Verdict: Shame

It would certainly be a shame if the Blues were to miss out on the signing of Fernandez this month.

Lauded as a ‘beast‘ by CBS Sports broadcaster Ives Galarcep after winning the FIFA World Cup with Argentina, the 21-year-old won the Young Player Award at the tournament, and was his country’s fourth-best performer overall, scoring one goal and supplying one assist in seven games (WhoScored).

At Benfica, Fernandez ranks in the 98th percentile of all midfielders in Europe’s top leagues over the last year for expected goals and expected assists combined, as well as the 99th for passes attempted and progressive passes per match (FBRef).

Nonetheless, there may still be an opportunity for Graham Potter’s side to sign him in the summer, but a deal now looks very difficult to do in January.

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