Enzo Fernandez has been acquired by Chelsea for a British-record sum of €121 million (£106.3 million) from Benfica. The international from Argentina, who won the award for best young player at the World Cup in Qatar last year, has signed an eight-and-a-half-year deal that will keep him at Stamford Bridge through the year 2031.
Despite Benfica’s refusal to sell earlier this month, despite Fernandez’s repeated declarations of his desire to move to Chelsea, it originally appeared as though Chelsea had missed out on their man but it th transaction did eventually took place.
To resurrect the deal, club representatives went to Portugal toward the close of the window, and late on deadline day, the two parties were able to agree on a payment plan.
Benfica has finally acknowledged the sale, but the Blues still required a deal sheet and an extension to complete the transfer. The first instalment will be a lump sum payment of €34 million (£29.9 million), with Chelsea likely to pay the record amount of more than £106 million over six instalments.
When can Enzo Fernandez make his Chelsea debut?
Fernandez will take a flight to London on Wednesday to meet his new teammates. He might make his club debut against Fulham on Friday in the West London derby.
However, Fernandez was eager to leave and pushed for the exit once Chelsea reignited their chase, despite Benfica’s best efforts to keep the midfielder at the Estadio da Luz at least until the conclusion of the season.
The 22-year-old now holds the record for becoming the most expensive player in British football history, surpassing Jack Grealish of Manchester City.
Additionally, it keeps up Chelsea’s remarkable spending spree since being acquired by a group led by Todd Boehly; the Blues have already blown more than £600 million on new players over the course of the last two transfer windows.
The West Londoners spent more than £300 million in January alone, bringing in Mykhaylo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, Malo Gusto, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana, and Joao Felix in addition to Fernandez.
River Plate, who will receive £26.7 million from the fee due to their 25% sell-on option in his contract, will benefit from Fernandez’s move as well.
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