Chelsea have agreed a British record deal worth £115m with Benfica for Enzo Fernandez, sources have confirmed.
Fernandez was one of Chelsea’s top transfer priorities this January, but their efforts to land the World Cup winner have so far been frustrated.
Benfica expected Chelsea to make a renewed offer after talks stalled earlier in the window and the Blues returned to the negotiating table at the weekend.
In the early hours of Monday morning, progress was believed to have been made towards a deal, with co-owner Behdad Eghbali and transfer director Paul Winstanley – who both played a major role in landing Mykhail Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk – leading the charge.
And those talks have led to a deal, 90 Minutes understands, with Chelsea agreeing to pay more than Fernandez’s £105m release clause for Benfica to accept a payment in installments.
The deal must now be stamped and signed by Rui Costa, who has publicly stated on several occasions that the 22-year-old Fernandez would not leave Benfica unless it was on the Portuguese giants’ terms.
The transfer could cost Chelsea a British record fee of £115m once Benfica receive all payments, eclipsing the £100m Manchester City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish in the summer of 2021.
Personal terms have long been agreed with Fernandez, who missed training with Benfica on Monday, and there is plenty of time to complete a deal before the winter transfer window on Tuesday night.
The breakthrough in negotiations could also affect potential exits at Chelsea, with Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek among the players who could now be moved up the club hierarchy amid a wave of Premier League interest.