Why Chelsea’s tactics may cost them Enzo Fernandez deal

Chelsea have been linked with the midfielder since the World Cup.

Enzo Fernadez signed for current club Benfica this past summer, leaving River Plate for €12m.

He has since made 28 appearances for the Portuguese outfit, scoring four and assisting seven in the process.

The South American, though, burst onto the big stage late last year during the 2022 World Cup.

Fernandez played in all seven of Argentina’s games in Qatar as La Albiceleste won the World Cup for the third time. He posted leading numbers for touches (118) and successful passes (77) in the final, while also recording more tackles in the World Cup showpiece (10) than any player since Gennaro Gattuso for Italy in 2006 (15).

Such form has garnered the interest of Chelsea, who need to replace N’Golo Kante and Jorginho.

However, reports on Wednesday suggest Chelsea have annoyed Benfica in their pursuit of Fernandez.

The Times report Chelsea have ‘antagonised’ Benfica during negotiations for the midfielder.

They did this  by informally offering to meet Benfica’s £106m asking price for Fernandez in December, only to attempt to negotiate that fee down in January.

This is a classic tactic many clubs use, offering the club a certain price and then trying to reduce it but in the mean time the player in question has become interested in joining and in many cases, will attempt to force a way through despite a lower transfer fee.

However, if Benfica are annoyed enough, they may simple choose to ignore Chelsea until the release clause is paid.

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Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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