Chelsea have signed Enzo Fernandez for a British record £107million after agreeing a deal with Benfica late on deadline day.
The eye-watering swoop for Chelsea’s No 1 January target headed into the last minutes of the transfer window as both clubs spent Tuesday locked in talks over the move for the Argentina international.
At one point, it looked as though Chelsea would fail to get the deal for 22-year-old over the line – but both parties finally made a breakthrough just minutes before the 11pm deadline. Fernandez will sign an eight-and-a-half year deal through to June 2031.
Benfica confirmed the move in a statement in the early hours of Wednesday morning after the clubs completed the necessary paperwork prior to the deadline.
Chelsea’s co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali – who also sanctioned Jorginho’s move to Arsenal on Tuesday – led negotiations for the World Cup winner with Benfica from London.
Sources had earlier indicated that Chelsea could fall just short and were ready to turn their attention to completing a summer move for Fernandez because sealing a deal for this season was proving too difficult.
But Tuesday night’s agreement was met with huge relief given the club’s determination to complete the move in January.
It is understood the biggest hurdle the Londoners were trying to overcome was agreeing a payment plan for the record fee with Benfica.