Chelsea believe significant progress made in Enzo Fernandez negotiations

Fernandez is wanted by Chelsea
Fernandez is wanted by Chelsea / Octavio Passos/GettyImages

Chelsea believe they have made significant progress in their negotiations with Benfica over midfielder Enzo Fernandez, 90min understands.

The Blues tried to recruit Fernandez earlier in the window but angered Benfica with their pursuit, with manager Roger Schmidt labelling Chelsea's efforts 'disrespectful' before warning that the 22-year-old will only be sold if his €120m release clause is triggered.

90min reported on Sunday that Chelsea had reinitiated talks with Benfica of the World Cup's Young Player of the Tournament award winner, with the Blues prepared to improve their initial proposal.

Chelsea are still exploring a deal which would allow them to pay in instalments, and privately, Benfica are understood to be prepared to accept a structured deal as long as it includes a significant up-front payment.

During the latest round of negotiations, which are believed to be led by Chelsea co-owner Behdad Eghbali, the Blues have expressed a willingness to pay over €120m in a structured deal, but talks remain on over how that figure would be divided.

The final decision on a sale will be left to Benfica president Rui Costa.

Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth to discuss the latest transfer news. On today's agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maiximo Perrone & more!

If you can't see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

As was the case during the first round of negotiations, Fernandez has indicated his desire to join Chelsea this month, and the London side do not anticipate any problems when it comes to personal terms following their communications with the midfielder's agent earlier in the window.

Chelsea also remain interested in Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo, who has publicly asked to leave the club this month.

The Seagulls have already rejected two bids from Arsenal, the last of which was worth £65m plus £5m in add-ons, and have warned all suitors that the Ecuador international is unavailable for transfer this month.