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Benfica not looking to negotiate over Enzo Fernández; Chelsea must pay €120m release clause

Pay up or shut up

Argentina v France: Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Maja Hitij - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Chelsea may be looking to steal a march on potential rivals for Enzo Fernández’s signature, but unsurprisingly, Enzo’s current team aren’t looking to play ball even if we might be willing to break their outgoing transfer record.

Benfica are in no hurry to sell, knowing that they will collect an outsized sum regardless of whether he leaves now or in the summer, and very much needing the 21-year-old midfielder until then as they look to reclaim the Portuguese title after a shocking dry spell of three whole seasons.

Club president Rui Costa has confirmed that Fernández may only leave if his €120m release clause is activated. While that’s actually less than what Chelsea reportedly may have offered (€127m+), it would have to be paid in a lump sum and, more importantly, it carries with it massive tax implications (perhaps as high as 50 per cent) and we would have to foot the bill for that as well. We might remember learning about all of this when we signed Diego Costa from Atlético Madrid in 2014 — different time, league and country, but similar laws.

“We don’t want to give up Enzo Fernandez in January, but we are willing to please the boy in the event of a €120 million offer.”

-Rui Costa; source: DAZN via Goal

That doesn’t specifically rule out Chelsea actually paying the clause, or perhaps Fernández pushing for a move, the latter of which seems to be the foremost of Benfica manager Roger Schmidt’s concerns.

“Until December 31st we are sure that we have all the players and nobody can leave. For now, we’re on the eve of the game [versus Braga] and I’m calm. Then the market opens up and when you have players with great talent, you always run the risk of losing players. For now, we’re focused on tomorrow’s game”.

“[But] we all know what football is like. These young people have opportunities, and it’s not just about Enzo. If they have opportunities, they have to make decisions, and I respect them. I can advise them, but they only have one career. If I can convince them or influence them in a certain way, I try to do it, but I accept their decisions”.

-Roger Schmidt; source: Record via Google Translate

You know what to do, Enzo!

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