Schmidt fears Enzo Fernandez has played his last game for Benfica as Chelsea circle

Date published: Saturday 31st December 2022 9:44 - Joe Williams

Chelsea are interested in Roger Schmidt's player

Roger Schmidt was unsure whether Chelsea target Enzo Fernandez will play for Benfica again after the Portuguese side lost 3-0 to Braga.

The Argentina international’s stock rose considerably during the World Cup in Qatar as he was named the Young Player of the Tournament as his country won.

There was already interest in his services following his good start to life at Benfica after arriving from River Plate in the summer transfer window.

However, now Benfica can justifiably point to his €120m release clause when any potential suitors come knocking for his services.

Chelsea are reportedly the main interested party with Todd Boehly wanting to spend over his release clause in order to spread the payments, rather then pay the whole fee up front.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano even claimed yesterday that Fernandez has said ‘yes’ to a move to Chelsea with the Blues beginning ‘direct talks’ with Benfica.

Fernandez played in Benfica’s loss to Braga on Friday night, despite the ongoing speculation and seemed close to tears as he sat on the bench after being substituted in the 89th minute.

And Schmidt admitted that he doesn’t know if Fernandez will play for Benfica again amid the interest from Chelsea and elsewhere.

Schmidt told reporters: “In my opinion Enzo played well today.

“I don’t know if it was Enzo’s last game. He is a great player, since he arrived at Benfica he has played fantastic football.

“And even as a person he is totally identified with the club. As I said before, in football sometimes things happen and players have to make decisions.

“Let’s see what happens in the coming weeks.”

Liverpool have also been linked with a move for Fernandez in recent weeks but, after signing Cody Gakpo earlier this week, it seems unlikely the Reds would be able to spend €120m on another new player.

Despite their ‘focus’ being on a new midfielder, Romano has claimed that Liverpool won’t be forking out the money required for Fernandez this window.

But former Liverpool midfielder John Barnes thinks the Argentina international would be a brilliant addition if they could somehow get a deal over the line.

Barnes told BonusCodeBets: “He’s a very aggressive, hard working midfield player which suits Liverpool but may not suit Man City or Arsenal. Enzo fits into the profile of a player Liverpool would want. That’s a player I feel could seamlessly fit into what Liverpool want.

“He’s combative, has good technique. He’s not a David Silva or a Kevin De Bruyne which is what Man City want but he would suit us.”

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