Chelsea sealed record £107 million Enzo Fernandez transfer after 20 consecutive hours of negotiations
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Chelsea's record £107 million capture of Enzo Fernandez was the result of an insane 20 hours of negotiations, it has been revealed.
The Blues identified the Argentina World Cup hero as a top target in the January transfer window but Benfica played hard-ball throughout and wanted the best possible deal.
In the end, Chelsea agreed to fork out £107 million to make Fernandez the most expensive player in Premier League history, nipping ahead of Jack Grealish.
The 22-year-old signed a lengthy eight-and-a-half year contract before the window slammed shut and became Chelsea's eighth signing in January.
But it took a whole lot of hard work from Chelsea to get the transfer over the line. According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea's co-owner Behdad Eghbali led talks and they nearly lasted the full day before an agreement was reached.
Chelsea will pay £30 million up front, with the rest of the fee paid in five further instalments.
“Chelsea did an incredible work to get Enzo Fernandez deal signed,” Romano said in a column for Caught Offside.
“It took 20 consecutive hours of negotiations, Enzo was a big ally of Chelsea into this deal and this is how they convinced Benfica to sell.
“The price is €121m paid in 6 instalments, contract until 2031 – a very big deal.”
Chelsea negotiated for 20 consecutive hours to finally strike a deal for Enzo Fernandez - the fee is €121m paid in six instalments, and the player's contract is until 2031 [@FabrizioRomano via @caughtoffside] #CFC— Transfer Centre (@CentreTransfer) February 1, 2023
Benfica are making a substantial profit on Fernandez, having bought him for £8.5 million plus £8 million in add-ons from River Plate.
The 22-year-old's boyhood club are also benefiting massively from the move. In fact, because of a 25 per cent sell-on clause they had in place, River bagged a reported record fee of £36 million despite it not even being a direct transfer.
It's more than double the sum they received from Manchester City for the services of Julian Alvarez, who joined for a dirt-cheap £14 million.
Fernandez is to fly in from Lisbon for an official unveiling, but Benfica manager Roger Schmidt sounded happy to see the back of the player.
"Benfica is much bigger than a player," he said in a presser.
"We just need players who are happy to play for Benfica, who are passionate.
"We had a player who wanted to leave and a club willing to pay the clause, we couldn't do anything. We accepted and looked ahead."
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@transfers
Topics: Chelsea, Benfica, Enzo Fernandez, Argentina, Football World Cup