Enzo Fernández of Benfica joins Chelsea for a British-record $106.8m

 Deal is made for a midfielder just before the window closes.
Owners’ spending will reach more than £500m with the transfer.

an image of Enzo Fernandez

After a hectic day of negotiations with Benfica, Chelsea shattered the British transfer record to buy Enzo Fernández for €121 million (£106.8 million), continuing their astounding spending spree.

The transaction increases Chelsea’s spending under the ownership of Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital to more than £500 million and serves as yet another indication of their commitment to controlling the transfer market. Behdad Eghbali, the co-owner, led the negotiations and was persistent throughout Tuesday’s negotiations with Benfica. Graham Potter will be hoping Fernández strengthens his team in central midfield.

According to reports, Chelsea and Benfica agreed a deal just before the transfer window closed at 11 p.m. UK time. Earlier in the evening, Chelsea sold Jorginho to Arsenal for £10 million plus £2 million in add-ons. Benfica insisted that the €120 million (£105.9 million) release clause in Fernández’s contract be fully honored. Chelsea had made the 22-year-old their priority target in midfield but had earlier in the window failed with a bid. Over the weekend, discussions reopened.

Chelsea was hesitant to activate the option due to worries about breaking the financial fair play rules—they have acquired 16 players with this agreement since the end of the previous season. Payment arrangements that would adhere to FFP regulations were the main topic of discussion. In the end, Chelsea consented to pay more than the clause, albeit in a number of installments. The transaction tops Jack Grealish’s £100 million transfer from Aston Villa to Manchester City in 2021 as the previous British record in value. He was acquired by Benfica from River Plate last year, who have a 25% sell-on clause.

Enzo Fernanddez

Chelsea persisted in their practice of providing long-term contracts. Fernández has signed to an eight-year contract after helping Argentina win the World Cup in Qatar. The club thinks that offering such packages will enable them to abide by FFP regulations. The secret is to amortize the expense of a fee over the course of a contract. Uefa, however, plans to alter those rules starting this summer, and clubs are anticipated to be prohibited from spreading the expense of fees over more than a five-year period.

Mykhailo Mudryk signed an eight-and-a-half-year contract with Chelsea, who are now tenth in the Premier League, after purchasing the Ukrainian winger from Shakhtar Donetsk for £88.8 million. Potter’s team is out of both tournaments and will have to compete to make the champions league
Potter has received support from the hierarchy despite a streak of subpar performances. In addition to spending a lot of money on Mudryk and Fernández, Chelsea also spent a lot of money on Andrey Santos, Davide Datro Fofana, Benoît Badiashile, and Noni Madueke. Joo Félix was loaned from Atlético Madrid for £8.8 million. Malo Gusto was acquired from Lyon and then returned on loan to the French team.
Potter now has a sizable squad after a last-minute attempt to loan Hakim Ziyech to Paris Saint-Germain failed. Only three new players will be permitted to join Chelsea’s 25-man Champions League roster. In round 16, they face Borussia Dortmund.
After acknowledging that Brighton would not be selling Moisés Caicedo, Arsenal made an approach for Jorginho. Conor Gallagher’s chances of leaving Chelsea, who were interested in the midfielder from Newcastle, Crystal Palace, and Everton, were eliminated by the last-ditch nature of the move for Fernández.

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