‘All documents received’ for €121m Chelsea transfer as Ornstein breaks down structure of record deal

Jason Soutar
Chelsea target Enzo Fernandez

The Athletic’s David Ornstein is reporting that the Premier League have ‘received all documents’ so Chelsea will sign Enzo Fernandez in a record transfer.

The Blues have been pursuing Fernandez all month after being impressed by his performances for Argentina at the World Cup.

They tried to sign the 22-year-old in a players-plus-cash deal, but Benfica were not interested. The Portuguese side repeatedly told Chelsea to pay the player’s release clause.

A deal appeared to be dead in the water; however, talks were brought back to life last week.

Rumours surfaced that Chelsea were willing to meet the valuation, but over multiple payments, as opposed to triggering Fernandez’s release clause.

Once again, Benfica president Rui Costa was not happy with the terms put on the table by Todd Boehly’s team.

After weeks and weeks of reports, rumours and talks, negotiations accelerated on deadline day.

Chelsea and Benfica have been locked in talks for what feels like 72 hours straight, and finally reached an agreement on deadline day. Thank f**k.

In case the Blues did eventually agree a deal to sign Fernandez, he was allowed to complete his medical in Portugal while talks were taking place.

Fabrizio Romano reported late on Tuesday night, with the transfer deadline just around the corner, that a deal has been agreed between the two clubs. The transfer expert said those three sexy words: Here. We. Go.

Ornstein later reported that the Premier League ‘has received all documents for the British record €121m transfer of Enzo Fernandez from Benfica to Chelsea’.

The respected reporter notes that the first payment will be worth €34m and ‘then five more’ will follow. Fernandez has penned an eight-and-a-half-year deal and he will fly to England on Wednesday.

Benfica were looking to keep their prized asset right up until the deadline, but they ‘finally agreed the exit’ just before the window closed.

Ben Jacobs adds: “Fernandez pushed for move & Behdad Eghbali didn’t take no for an answer.

“Also worth reiterating that River Plate get 25%. Benfica fought hard to try and keep Fernandez, but Chelsea got it done in the knick of time.”

Sky Sports later noted that Chelsea ‘pushed’ to complete this signing in January as they ‘feared other clubs coming in’ for Fernandez had they waited until the summer.

‘Fernandez was left out of Benfica’s squad for their game against Arouca on Tuesday night, with the 22-year-old undergoing a medical in Portugal ahead of his switch to Stamford Bridge.

‘According to Portuguese broadcaster SIC, Fernandez will fly to the UK on Wednesday morning, with a private jet scheduled to leave Lisbon airport at 10.20am.

‘Chelsea pushed to sign Fernandez this month because they feared other clubs would come in for the midfielder in the summer.’

Announcing the deal, Benfica said: “In a statement sent to the Securities Market Commission (CMVM) at 12:13am this Wednesday, February 1, Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Futebol, SAD informed that it reached an agreement with Chelsea FC for the sale of all the rights of the player Enzo Fernandez, for a sum of 121 million euros.

“Benfica SAD also explained that Chelsea FC will have the right to retain the solidarity mechanism of 3.78 per cent for subsequent distribution to the clubs that participated in the player’s training.

“Additionally, Benfica SAD will incur charges for intermediation services of 6.56 per cent of the sale value deducted from the solidarity amount and will also have to deliver to River Plate the amount corresponding to 25 per cent of the transfer value deducted from the solidarity amounts and intermediation services.”

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