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Chelsea pay record fee to sign Enzo Fernandez

By Real11 - Feb 1 2023 288 Views
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Chelsea signs Enzo Fernandez for a record €121m

Chelsea's astonishing spending spree continued when they shattered the British transfer record to sign Enzo Fernandez for €121m (£106.8m)  after a frantic day of negotiations with Benfica. 

With this deal, the Blues spending under the Todd Boehly-Clearkake Capital ownership is estimated to be more than £500m. This only goes on to show how badly they wanted to dominate the transfer market. Negotiations were led by the co-owner of the club, Behdad Eghbali, who had dodged throughout discussions with Benfica  on Tuesday, and Graham Potter will hope the bright prospect makes his side stronger in the central midfield. 

Chelsea, who sold Jorginho to their north West London rivals Arsenal for £10m plus £2m in add-ons earlier in the evening reached the agreement with Benfica nearly two hours before the deadline i.e. 11 PM UK time. Fernandez’s contract included a €120m (£105.9m) release clause and the Lisbon club was resolute to be paid in full. Chelsea failed to bid for the young prodigy earlier in the window but had made him their top target in midfield. Talks reopened over the weekend.

The Blue Lions, who with this deal have roped in 16 players since the last season ended, were unwilling to trigger the clause because of the concerns over breaching financial fair play regulations. Negotiations were held around the payment structures that would satisfy FFP rules. Chelsea eventually agreed to pay more than the clause but over various instalments.  The deal broke the previous British record- Jack Grealish’s £100m move from Aston Villa to Manchester City in 2021. 

Chelsea continued with their policy of offering long term deals. Fernandez, who was a vital cog in Argentina’s triumphant run in Qatar, has agreed an eight year deal. Handing out such deals will help the club meet the FFP rules. Amortisation is critical- Laying out the cost of a fee over the length of a contract. However UEFA is on the verge of changing those regulations from the summer, with the clubs expected to be stopped from spreading the cost of fees for more than a period of five years. 

Chelsea, who are currently 10th in the Premier League, offered Mykhalio Mudryk an eight and a half year deal after signing the winger from Shakhtar Donetsk for £88.8m. Potter’s men are out of both cups and face a stern fight to qualify for the Champions League.  

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