Chelsea have signed Enzo Fernandez for a record £106.8m from Benfica. The transfer surpasses the £100m Man City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish 18 months ago.
Fernandez, who was bought by Benfica in the summer for a fee in the region of £10m, signed an eight-and-a-half-year deal at Chelsea and flew to London on Tuesday morning.
The Blues had been in talks to sign the 22-year-old World Cup winner throughout this month, but Benfica had refused to do business unless the Blues paid his €120m release clause.
It appears Chelsea have gone over that and paid €121m to the Portuguese club for Fernandez, who was named Young Player of the 2022 World Cup Tournament in Qatar.
The first instalment is £30m and the rest of the fee will be paid in five lump sums.
The negotiations were led by Chelsea’s co-owner Behdad Eghbali from London and talks lasted 12 hours.
Fernandez was left out of Benfica’s squad for their game against Arouca on Tuesday night, with the 22-year-old undergoing a medical in Portugal ahead of his switch to Stamford Bridge.
According to Portuguese broadcaster SIC, Fernandez will fly to the UK on Wednesday morning, with a private jet scheduled to leave Lisbon airport at 10.20am.
Chelsea pushed to sign Fernandez this month because they feared other clubs would come in for the midfielder in the summer.
River Plate are believed to be receiving 25 per cent of the fee – which is £26.7m.