Insist on 120 million clause

    The transfer of world champion Enzo Fernández to Chelsea, which was believed to be almost certain, is apparently in danger of failing. As first the South American journalist Cesar Luis Merlo and later too Fabrizio Romano reported, Benfica Lisbon, where the 21-year-old midfielder is under contract until 2027, has broken off talks after a meeting on Wednesday. A further meeting is not planned for the time being.

    Goals & highlights from Benfica star Enzo Fernandez

    Accordingly, the Portuguese top club insisted on paying the €120 million release clause in Fernández’s contract. According to reports, Chelsea did not want this so as not to risk penalties from UEFA Financial Fair Play, because the sum would then be due in one installment. It had been reported that the Blues were even willing to pay up to €127m, more than the clause, if Benfica would accept multiple installments. However, Romano wrote that Chelsea’s official offer never exceeded €85m.

    With Zidane, De Bruyne & Pogba: The most expensive midfielders

    19 Jorginho | from Napoli to Chelsea | Transfer fee: €57 million

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    2018/19 season

    18 Fred | from Shakhtar to Man United | Transfer fee: €59 million

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    2018/19 season

    14 Oscars | from Chelsea to Shanghai SIPG | Transfer fee: €60 million

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    2016/17 season

    14 Naby Keïta | from RB Leipzig to Liverpool | Transfer fee: €60 million

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    2018/19 season

    14 Tanguy Ndombele | from Lyon to Tottenham | Transfer fee: €60 million

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    Season 2019/20

    14 Miralem Pjanic | from Juventus to Barça | Transfer fee: €60 million

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    Season 2020/21

    13 Rodri | from Atlético Madrid to Man City | Transfer fee: €62.7 million

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    Season 2019/20

    12 Bruno Fernandes | from Sporting to Man United | Transfer fee: €63 million

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    Season 2019/20

    11 Kaka | from AC Milan to Real Madrid | Transfer fee: €67 million

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    2009/10 season

    10 Casemiro | from Real Madrid to Man United | Transfer fee: €70.7 million

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    Season 2022/23

    9 Thomas Lemar | from Monaco to Atlético Madrid | Transfer fee: €72 million

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    2018/19 season

    8 James Rodríguez | from Monaco to Real Madrid | Transfer fee: €75 million

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    2014/15 season

    6 Kevin De Bruyne | from Wolfsburg to Man City | Transfer fee: €76 million

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    2015/16 season

    6 Arthur | from Barça to Juventus | Transfer fee: €76 million

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    Season 2019/20

    5 Zinedine Zidane | from Juventus to Real Madrid | Transfer fee: €77.5 million

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    2001/02 season

    3 Kai Havertz | from Leverkusen to Chelsea | Transfer fee: €80 million

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    Season 2020/21

    3 Aurélien Tchouameni | from Monaco to Real Madrid | Transfer fee: €80 million

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    Season 2022/23

    2 Frenkie de Jong | from Ajax to Barca | Transfer fee: €86 million

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    Season 2019/20

    1 Paul Pogba | from Juventus to Man United | Transfer fee: €105 million

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    2016/17 season

    Benfica’s Enzo Fernández has already agreed on a transfer with Chelsea

    Fernández is said to have previously agreed on a change with Chelsea and is said to have only been waiting for Benfica’s approval. However, the “Adlers” had actually always made it clear that they wanted to keep the high-flyer until the summer in order to underpin their own title ambitions – the Portuguese, who were undefeated in all competitions this season, are still in the running in the Champions League (1/8- final vs. Brugge). The Times recently reported that Benfica had offered Fernández a new contract that would bring him a significantly higher salary in exchange for the club’s release clause being raised to €200m.

    Portugal’s record champions secured Fernández’s signature in the summer of 2022 for €12m from training club River Plate – the price included a 25 per cent sales share in the next transfer fee. The initially reported 127 million euros would have made the Argentinian the most expensive midfielder in football history – also the most expensive player from the world champion country. At 85 million, he would land third and second respectively in those stats. Since his transfer, the midfield all-rounder has played 34 games for Benfica and Argentina, losing only to Saudi Arabia and SC Braga on December 30 and has become the most sought-after player alongside BVB professional Jude Bellingham (19).

    Di María 3x in the top 20: The most expensive Argentines in football history

    20 Angel Di Maria | Benfica to Real Madrid | Transfer fee: €33 million

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    As of December 30, 2022

    19 Rodrigo DePaul | Udinese to Atlético Madrid | Transfer fee: €35 million

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    18 Javier Saviola | River Plate to Barcelona | Transfer fee: €35.9 million

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    17 Gabriel Batistuta | Fiorentina to Roma | Transfer fee: €36.15 million

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    16 Emiliano Buendia | Norwich City to Aston Villa | Transfer fee: €38.44 million

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    15 Gonzalo Higuaín | Real Madrid to Napoli | Transfer fee: €39 million

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    12 Hernan Crespo | Lazio to Inter | Transfer fee: €40 million

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    12 Sergio Aguero | Atlético Madrid to Man City | Transfer fee: €40 million

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    12 Leandro Parédes | Zenith to PSG | Transfer fee: €40 million

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    11 Paulo Dybala | Palermo to Juventus | Transfer fee: €41 million

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    10 Javier Pastore | Palermo to PSG | Transfer fee: €42 million

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    9 Juan Sebastian Verón | Lazio to Man United | Transfer fee: €42.6 million

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    8 Nicolas Otamendi | Valencia to Man City | Transfer fee: €44.5 million

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    6 Mauro Icardi | Inter to PSG | Transfer fee: €50 million

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    6 Cristian Romero | Atalanta to Tottenham | Transfer fee: €50 million

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    5 Hernan Crespo | Parma to Lazio | Transfer fee: €56.81 million

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    4 Lisandro Martinez | Ajax to Man United | Transfer fee: €57.37 million

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    3 Angel Di Maria – Manchester United al PSG | Transfer fee: €63 million

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    2 Angel Di Maria | Real Madrid to Man United | Transfer fee: €75 million

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    1 Gonzalo Higuaín | Napoli to Juventus | Transfer fee: €90 million

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