The crown jewel of Chelsea’s historic January spending spree is about to arrive.
Chelsea has agreed to a move with Benfica for midfielder Enzo Fernández, who starred for Argentina during its World Cup run, according to The Athletic. Chelsea will reportedly pay Fernández’s full release clause of £105 million ($129.4 million) as the deal approaches the deadline.
The move completes an unprecedented January transfer window for the Blues and new owner Todd Boehly. With the sum for Fernández, Chelsea has spent more than £250 million in the last month on eight new players, adding to the already-bloated sum of $306.6 million that was spent over the summer.
Fernández earned interest from top clubs around the world for his involvement in La Albiceleste’s World Cup title in Qatar. He came off the bench and scored a lovely goal to secure a group-stage win over Mexico, then started every game from there on out. He and Brighton midfielder Alexis Mac Allister stepped into an uncertain midfield and gave Lionel Messi & Co. some control and stability that proved crucial throughout the team’s title-winning run. He then went on to win the tournament’s Best Young Player award.
The 22-year-old moved from Buenos Aires club River Plate to Portuguese side Benfica over the summer for a $15.22 million fee. He impressed in his short time there, leading Portugal’s Primeira Liga in progressive passes this season.
Boehly’s side now seemingly has the pieces in place. Along with Fernández comes forwards Mykhailo Mudryk, João Félix Noni Madueke, center back Benoît Badiashile, right back Malo Gusto, and several other young pieces. It sits at 10th in the Premier League table with just under half the season to play. But if Chelsea ends up outside the top four, it won’t be for a lack of investment.