Chelsea agree British record £115m deal with Benfica for Enzo Fernandez

Graeme Bailey
Enzo Fernandez set to move for record fee
Enzo Fernandez set to move for record fee / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Chelsea have agreed a British record deal worth £115m with Benfica for Enzo Fernandez, sources have confimed to 90min.

Fernandez has been one of Chelsea's top transfer priorities this January, but they have been frustrated in their efforts to sign the World Cup winner to date.

90min revealed last week that Benfica were expecting Chelsea to make a renewed bid, after talks stalled earlier in the window, and the Blues did return to the negotiating table over the weekend.

There was belief early on Monday that progress towards a deal was being made, with co-owner Behdad Eghbali and transfer director Paul Winstanley - who both played significant roles in landing Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk - leading the charge.

And those talks have led to an agreement, 90min understands, with Chelsea agreeing to pay more than Fernandez's £105m release clause in order for Benfica to accept a payment in instalments.

The deal now just needs to be rubber stamped and signed off by Rui Costa, who has publicly stated a number of times that 22-year-old Fernandez would not be leaving Benfica unless it was on the Portuguese giants' terms.

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The transfer could end up costing Chelsea a British record fee of £115m once all payments have been received by Benfica, eclipsing the £100m Manchester City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish in the summer of 2021.

Personal terms have long been agreed with Fernandez, who missed training with Benfica on Monday, and there's plenty of time for the deal to be finalised before the winter transfer window slams shut on Tuesday night.

The breakthrough in negotiations could also impact potential outgoings at Chelsea, with Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek among the players who could now be moved on by the club's hierarchy amid a wave of Premier League interest.