Benfica president Rui Costa ‘tried to convince Enzo Fernandez to stay until the end of the season’, but the Argentine ‘REFUSED’, claim reports in Portugal – with his record-breaking £107m Chelsea move completed just ‘TWO MINUTES’ before the deadline
- Portuguese media have revealed the details of Enzo Fernandez’s Chelsea move
- It was clear that Benfica were reluctant to lose their World Cup winning star
- The midfielder’s Blues deal was rubber-stamped minutes before the deadline
Enzo Fernandez refused to stay at Benfica for the rest of the season, leading to his record-breaking move to Chelsea on deadline day, according to reports in Portugal.
After several days of negotiations, the Blues finally landed their man in the late hours of Tuesday evening, with Fernandez joining the English club for £107m, a British transfer record fee.
The deal went right down to the wire, with Portuguese outlet Record claiming that it was only signed off two minutes before the deadline.
Record stated that the Enzo Fernandez deal was completed two minutes before the deadline
Rui Costa wanted to keep Fernandez until the end of the season, but the player refused to stay
The same paper has claimed that Benfica president Rui Costa did everything he could to keep Fernandez, and was desperate for the Argentine midfielder to stay at the club for the remainder of the season.
However, Fernandez made it clear that he did not want to stay beyond January, and he eventually got his way.
Another Portuguese outlet A Bola also reveals Benfica manager Roger Schmidt’s position on the matter, as he agreed not to keep a player that was determined to leave.
Fernandez’s move to Stamford Bridge comes after Chelsea were linked with the World Cup winner throughout January.
The month started with Fernandez defying Benfica by flying back to Argentina to celebrate the New Year as he pushed for a move to England.
Fernandez decided he didn’t want to stay at Benfica until the end of the season
Benfica president Rui Costa tried to convince him to stay, but was unsuccessful
Schmidt responded by confirming that Fernandez would face disciplinary action, but he also hit out at Chelsea’s ‘disrespectful’ pursuit of the 22-year-old and suggested that they had no genuine intention of paying his release clause.
Days later, he claimed Chelsea’s pursuit of the midfielder was ‘closed’, only for the Blues to revive their interest in the final days of the window after being told that Brighton’s Moises Caicedo was not for sale.
This time, Chelsea were willing to pay the full release clause, but there was some doubt over how many instalments would be required to make the payment.
During the final days of negotiations, Fernandez stayed away from training and was left out of Benfica’s squad for their league game against Arouca on Tuesday.
Chelsea’s hierarchy finally reached an agreement with Benfica just hours before the deadline, and managed to get the necessary paperwork done to wrap up the signing in time.
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