Chelsea went all out for Enzo Fernandez after ‘catching wind’ of plans
Graham Potter welcomes Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea
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Chelsea were forced to intensify their pursuit of Enzo Fernandez in the final days of the January transfer window after discovering that two other Premier League clubs were willing to pay nine-figure transfer fees in exchange for his signature, according to reports. The Blues targeted Fernandez earlier in the month but to no avail before finally returning to the table to activate his £107million release clause in the closing hours of deadline day.
Chelsea were initially hesitant to shell out the full value of Fernandez’s money-spinning release clause, although Todd Boehly was eventually able to negotiate a deal to pay £40m upfront and the rest of the fee in instalments. It seems as though the Blues were forced to speed up proceedings in order to avoid losing out in the battle to sign the 22-year-old, who was also being seriously targeted by two other Premier League sides, according to The Athletic.
It is said that Chelsea made the decision to meet Benfica’s demands based on interest from elsewhere in England, which saw those in power at Stamford Bridge act quickly to bring Fernandez to west London. Chelsea were reportedly worried that they would have missed out on Fernandez if another club came in for him thanks to their mid-table league position and accelerated their pursuit of his services as a result.
Liverpool were reportedly keen on hijacking Chelsea’s move for Fernandez in order to improve their midfield ranks, with the Reds having struggled due to a lack of consistent quality in the engine room over the course of this season. It would be reasonable to suggest that only Newcastle and Manchester City could have joined Liverpool as rivals to Chelsea’s hopes of completing the deal, given the lucrative finances involved in negotiating such a move.
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Chelsea ultimately managed to get their man, though, and will be hoping that Fernandez will be able to make his debut in the Premier League against Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Friday evening. He recently insisted that Chelsea’s pedigree in Europe was a major factor in his decision to join the Blues in spite of their unenviable predicament in the Premier League, which sees them languishing down 10th position after winning just eight of their 20 matches so far this season.
“It’s a big club, it’s a club that is always fighting and has won the Champions League and we will look to achieve everything that the club wants and take it to the next level,” said Fernandez. “A lot of great things have happened for me. I’m really happy with the opportunity that Chelsea has given me and I will give everything to achieve the club’s goals.
“I’m technical, I’ve got good insight of the game, good passing skills and good shooting skills. I offer good energy, good vibes and I will give my all and support my teammates to make them even better.”
Fernandez managed to earn his move to Chelsea after a stellar campaign for both club and country, with the midfielder having excelled in the Champions League since joining Benfica from River Plate at the start of the season. He went on to shine at international level as Argentina lifted the World Cup for the first time since 1986 and was named Best Young Player at the end of the tournament after playing a major role in his country’s incredible triumph.
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