Enzo Fernandez 'could have played his last match for Benfica' admits his manager Schmidt as Chelsea plot £105m transfer | The SunDecember 31, 2022
ENZO FERNANDEZ could have played his last match for Benfica, admitted his manager.
The Argentina World Cup winner is a transfer target for Chelsea.
The 21-year-old has been heavily linked with a record-breaking £105million move to Stamford Bridge in January.
Fernandez was named in the starting XI for Benfica last night as they crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Braga.
The midfielder – who won the World Cup just 12 days earlier – was substituted off in the closing minutes.
And his boss confessed that may be his final appearance for the Portuguese club because a deal may well happen early in the transfer window, which opens tomorrow.
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Roger Schmidt said: "I don't know if that was the last match of Enzo.
"I think Enzo is a great player.
"Since he arrived at Benfica, he's played fantastic football.
"Also, as a person, he's completely identified with the club.
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"Like I said before the match, sometimes things in football happen and then players have to make decisions.
"We will see what happens in the next weeks."
Chelsea are willing to pay the £105m release clause in Fernandez's Benfica contract.
The West London club are desperate to get a deal done and beat off interest from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United for the World Cup Young Player of the Tournament.
And meeting the release clause would see Chelsea not only break their own transfer record – the £97.5m they spent on Romelu Lukaku last year – but also the British record, currently Jack Grealish's £100m.
However, should Chelsea miss out on the holding midfielder – a possible replacement for N'Golo Kante – they already have an alternative option lined up.
Fernandez's Argentina team-mate Alexis Mac Allister also excelled in Qatar and may be a different target.
Mac Allister worked with Graham Potter at Brighton and would certainly be significantly cheaper than Fernandez.
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