Chelsea have agreed a deal to sign World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez from Benfica on an eight-and-a-half year contract worth £106.8 million.
A deal between Chelsea and Benfica over how the fee would be structured was sealed in the final hours of the January transfer window – a £30 million upfront fee followed by five instalments – with an agreement reportedly reached at 9:15pm UK time.
The transfer has been confirmed in a statement by Benfica.
Fernandez joins Chelsea hours after the departure of midfielder Jorginho, who left the west London club on deadline day for Arsenal in a deal believed to be £12 million.
Fernandez will reportedly fly to London on Wednesday, February 1.
The Argentina international will be a welcome addition to Graham Potter’s side, who have struggled in the early part of the season and are facing the tough task of securing Champions League football.
He joined Benfica for £10m and has represented the club 25 times, scoring three goals following his move from River Plate in July 2020.
Fernandez scored 12 times and registered 10 assists in 53 games for the Argentine Primera Division side before moving to Europe. River Plate have a 25 per cent sell-on clause on Fernandez’s transfer to Chelsea.
The midfielder, who played a key role in Argentina’s triumphant World Cup campaign, was presented with the Young Player of the Tournament in Qatar. Fernandez scored for Argentina in their crucial group stage win against Mexico.
He played only three times prior to their World Cup campaign, making his debut in September.
Chelsea have been the most active Premier League club in the January transfer window. Their spending has now reached £322m this window with Fernandez becoming the eighth signing.
Fernandez has followed Malo Gusto, Joao Felix, Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana, Mykhailo Mudryk, Andrey Santos and Noni Madueke to Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech was reportedly set to move to Paris Saint-Germain on loan until the end of the season, but the deal collapsed.
Several reports suggest Chelsea failed to submit the paperwork in time for the move to be processed.
The Morocco international has played 98 times for Chelsea since his arrival from Ajax in 2020, scoring 14 goals.