Benfica manager Roger Schmidt has criticized Chelsea for their ‘disrespectful’ approach to pursuing Argentinian World Cup sensation Enzo Fernandez. Liverpool were heavily linked with the World Cup winner until it was reported that Chelsea had taken the lead in the race for Fernandez’s signature.
Reports have emerged this week that Chelsea’s potential signing of Fernandez has collapsed after the London club refused to meet the €120 million release clause placed on Fernandez by Benfica. Record reported that instead of meeting the release clause, Chelsea proposed an alternative deal, in which they would pay €90 million for Fernandez and give Hakim Ziyech to Benfica on a permanent deal, as well as loaning youngsters David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos to the Portuguese club.
Fabrizio Romano has reported on a press conference in which Roger Schmidt discusses the club, purported to be Chelsea, trying to sign Fernandez.
Schmidt said,”There is a club who want our player. They know we don’t want to sell the player. They tried to get the player on their side, and they know that they can only get this player when they pay the clause.
“It’s a very clear situation. What the club is doing, who wants to buy Enzo, is disrespectful against all of us, against Benfica. And I cannot accept what they are doing.
“To make the player crazy, then to pretend they can pay the clause, then later they want to negotiate, is not what I understand to be a good relationship between clubs who want to discuss about the player.”
It seems Chelsea were not totally transparent about their intentions to pay Fernandez’s release clause and upon discovering this, Benfica have ended the negotiations.
The breakdown in relations between Benfica and Chelsea may open the door for Liverpool to come back in for Fernandez. The 21-year-old is one of the most sought-after prospects in Europe and it is only a matter of time before a club meets the release clause demanded by Benfica. Liverpool supporters will hope that Jurgen Klopp will be the man who can convince Fernandez to come to Liverpool.
Benfica head coach Roger Schmidt on Enzo Fernández deal and Chelsea’s bid rejected 🔵 #CFC
“It’s disrespectful for all of us, I can’t accept what they are doing” 🎥⤵️https://t.co/3uvYZ93iTC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 5, 2023