EPL

Schmidt remains confident Chelsea target Fernandez will stay at Benfica

By Sports Desk January 25, 2023

Enzo Fernandez will remain a Benfica player beyond the end of the January transfer window, according to the Portuguese giants' head coach Roger Schmidt.

The Argentina midfielder has been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea throughout the month, but Benfica are reportedly insisting the Premier League side meet the player's release clause, believed to be £106million (€120m).

Schmidt previously described Chelsea's pursuit of the 22-year-old as "disrespectful", and speaking to reporters on Wednesday, he reiterated his confidence that Fernandez will stay.

"Yes, of course," he said about the player remaining in Lisbon. "When you see Enzo playing for Benfica you can tell he's in shape and happy. He's not thinking about anything else.

"I'm not expecting to lose any of our regular starters. I see the players concentrated and I hope this continues."

Fernandez, fresh off winning the World Cup last month as well as picking up the tournament's Young Player award, leads the Primeira Liga for passes attempted this season with 1,511, 260 more than the next most (Sporting CP's Goncalo Inacio – 1,251).

Chelsea have had a busy window already, signing David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos, Joao Felix (loan), Benoit Badiashile, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Noni Madueke.

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