Enzo Fernandez transfer talks between Chelsea and Benfica have begun.
Although Chelsea is rumored to be willing to pay the £106 million release clause for the Argentina star, the Portuguese club is unwilling to sell.
The 21-year-old, who was selected this month as the Young Player of the World Cup, has distinguished himself since moving to Benfica from River Plate last summer for an initial £8.5 million.
He has started each of their league contests and was a crucial component of their Champions League group stage success.
Both Manchester United and Liverpool are interested, but Liverpool began talks with Jude Bellingham and United is constrained by its finances. Newcastle has expressed interest as well, although not at an exorbitant cost.
Chelsea has been active in the transfer market and wants to reduce the average age of their team. They have signed Molde’s David Fofana, 20, and will soon announce the arrival of Vasco da Gama’s Andrey Santos, 18. Benoit Badiashile, a 21-year-old defender, is the subject of ongoing negotiations with Monaco. They have also made a pitch for Youssoufa Moukoko, an 18-year-old defender from Borussia Dortmund.
Jorginho and N’Golo Kante are expected to leave when their contracts expire in the summer, so Fernandez fits the bill.
With the possibility of selling Fernandez for a sizable profit at the end of the season, Benfica intended to keep him. Chelsea will now have to entice him.