By Tom Gott and Graeme Bailey
Benfica are ready for another offer from Chelsea to try and sign World Cup star Enzo Fernandez, 90 minutes he understands.
The Blues pushed hard to sign the 22-year-old at the start of winter, but angered Benfica with their refusal to trigger his £106m release clause, and the Portuguese side even went public to accuse Chelsea of ’disrespect’.
Talks between the two clubs have since cooled down but 90 minutes he learns that Fernandez’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has been in contact with both of them Chelsea and Benfica in an attempt to find an agreement.
Sources have confirmed that Fernandez remains incredibly keen to join Chelsea. The Argentine midfielder missed training at Benfica earlier this month in an attempt to force a transfer but has returned to his squad in recent weeks, although his desire to leave remains.
Publicly, Benfica have warned Chelsea they must activate Fernandez’s release clause to finalize a deal, even if 90 minutes understands that the Portuguese club would be willing to receive the fee in installments if the initial payment is significant, something Chelsea have so far refused to offer.
Chelsea are now expected to renew their efforts to land Fernandez, according to sources close to the Portuguese team 90 minutes that Benfica expect a phone call from the Blues in the next few days.
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Stamford Bridge managers are well aware of Fernandez’s desire to make the move and are equally keen to reach an agreement, but having already paid out nearly £200m in the winter window on Joao Felix, Mykhailo Mudryk, Noni Madueke, Andrey Santos and Benoit Badiashile, Chelsea are trying to save as much money as possible.
The Blues have explored cheaper alternatives to Fernandez this month, but were turned away after questions about Barcelona’s Franck Kessie, Brighton’s Moises Caicedo and Tottenham’s Yves Bissouma.
90 minutes He understands Chelsea have also been considering a deal for Everton midfielder Amadou Onana, who has impressed since his summer move to Goodison Park and could be offered the chance to leave relegation-threatened Toffees this month.
This article was originally posted on 90min.com as Benfica expect new talks with Chelsea about Enzo Fernandez.