Benfica boss Roger Schmidt speaks out on Chelsea’s Enzo Fernandez move

The Argentinian midfielder has been linked with a switch all transfer window

Benfica boss Roger Schmidt has revealed that he is ‘confident’ that Enzo Fernandez will remain a Benfica player beyond the January transfer deadline despite reported interest from Chelsea once more.

The Blues were keen on completing a deal for the midfielder, who scooped the Young Player of the Tournament award at the 2022 World Cup in December, at the beginning of the month, but talks were put on hold over a failure to agree a fee.

And now, Schmidt cannot see a way for a deal to go ahead.

“I’m confident on Enzo staying with us, yes. I see him very happy, in great condition”, he told the media.

“I don’t expect that we lose any of our players who are playing a lot and in the starting XI. I see very focused players and that’s why I expect that he stays.”

Earlier in the transfer window, Schmidt slammed the Blues for negotiating for the player in bad faith after suggesting that they may pay the 120m euro release clause set into Fernandez’s contract before offering a fee far lower and over a longer period, with their final offer coming in at 85m euros for the World Cup winner.

“There’s a club who want our player. They know we don’t want to sell the player”, he began. “They try to get the player on their side and they know that they can only get this player when they pay the [release] clause. So it’s a very clear situation, what the club is doing who wants to buy Enzo.”

“It’s disrespectful against all of us, against Benfica and I cannot accept what they are doing. So to make the player crazy and then pretend they can pay the clause and later they want to negotiate, I think it’s not what I understand about a good relationship between clubs who maybe want to discuss a player.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s attentions have turned to Lyon fullback Malo Gusto, and they are also keeping a keen eye on Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, but have been put off by the £100m price tag for the midfielder.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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