Liverpool and Man United receive Enzo Fernandez boost as Benfica boss makes transfer admission
Liverpool, Man United, and Chelsea are among those battling to sign Enzo Fernandez Fernandez, and now Benfica manager Roger Schmidt appears to be accepting defeat in his club’s fight to keep hold of him.
Amid three Premier League clubs interested in his signature, Benfica manager Roger Schmidt is preparing for Enzo Fernandez’s exit.
Although it is believed that Manchester United and Liverpool are competing for the services of the 21-year-old midfielder, it was revealed on Wednesday that Chelsea is now in the lead in the pursuit of his services.
The Blues are prepared to activate Fernandez’s eye-watering release clause of €120 million (£106 million) following his good performance for Argentina at the World Cup, which earned him a winner’s medal and the young player of the tournament award.
Benfica chief, Schmidt is keen to keep their star midfielder, who could play his final match for the Portuguese champions on Friday when they travel to face Braga. “Until December 31st we are sure that we have all the players and nobody can leave,” the German declared when asked about Fernandez during his pre-match conference on Thursday.
“For now, we’re on the eve of the game and I’m calm. Then the market opens up and when you have players with great talent, you always run the risk of losing players. For now, we’re focused on tomorrow’s game”
Hours bedore Benfica issued a statement refuting rumours that president Rui Costa had stated in an interview that Fernandez wanted to go in January and the club were willing to grant his wish, Schmidt was repeatedly questioned about the future of the former River Plate star.” We insist saying that we intend to keep Enzo here until the end of the season,” a spokesperson added.
According to a report Schmidt has personally pleaded with Fernandez to snub a move away, as he wants the World Cup winner to help continue Benfica’s impressive season both domestically and in the Champions League. Asked specifically about his alleged chat with Fernandez, the ex-Bayer Leverkusen boss replied: “I can’t reveal those conversations. When I talk to the players, these are things I keep to myself. What I can say is what I’ve already said.
“We all know what football is like. These young people have opportunities, and it’s not just about Enzo. If they have opportunities, they have to make decisions, and I respect them. I can advise them, but they only have one career. If I can convince them or influence them in a certain way, I try to do it, but I accept their decisions.”
Although Fernandez hasn’t spoken much about a move, he did respond sharply when questioned about the persistent rumours earlier this week. The midfield powerhouse was quoted by Argentine media as saying, “I don’t know about my future or proposals, that’s what my representative is taking care of,”