The rumor mill’s new favorite word is “accelerate”, which, in fairness, does seem appropriate when it comes to a player named Enzo. (I may be a BMW fan, but I wouldn’t sniff at a 599 GTB, yaknowatimsayin’...)
In any case, the word out of Argentina is that Chelsea are “accelerating” our attempts to make the Enzo Fernández deal happen in January, and while Benfica have already resorted to making official statements to the contrary, the rumor mill is blowing past those as if they were Ford Pinto.
We could of course avoid having to deal with Benfica at all simply by paying the 21-year-old’s release clause (and associated luxury tax), but we could save a fair bit — well, more correctly, avoid spending even more — overall by getting them to actually agree a transfer. It would behoove them financially as well (i.e. they’d get more than the €120m less the sell-on percentage that’s due River Plate), though Benfica are likely to make a killing either way at nearly 10x what they paid six months ago, and regardless of whether they sell now or only in the summer.
But while their statement declares that they won’t be negotiating, TyC Sports’ César Luis Merlo claims that there is still a chance, albeit “minimal” that they relent in that stance. [Insert so you’re telling me there’s a chance GIF here]. Meanwhile, ESPN Argentina’s Esteban Edul simply claims that Chelsea are “close” and negotiations are “advanced”. He doesn’t specify what negotiations those might be; perhaps they refer to terms with the player himself, which are supposedly already agreed, as per Telemundo’s Veronica Brunati — not that those would ever be anything other than a formality.
UPDATE: Everyone’s favorite rumor-aggregator, Fabrizio Romano has also jumped in this morning with a claim of “direct negotiations” between the two clubs.
Boogity, boogity, boogity.
El Chelsea aceleró hoy por Enzo Fernández y ofreció €127M por su pase.— César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo) December 30, 2022
*️⃣Benfica quiere retenerlo, pero abrió una mínima chance para negociar formas de pago y demás aspectos.
*️⃣De cerrarse en esa cifra, a River le ingresarán €31.750.000M. pic.twitter.com/oXuo7UN7TH