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03rd Feb 2023

Chelsea and Benfica almost had physical confrontation over Enzo Fernandez deal

Callum Boyle

Benfica were not happy with Chelsea’s negotiation tactics

Tensions between Chelsea and Benfica chiefs over the transfer of Enzo Fernandez almost got to the point where there was a physical confrontation between the two.

Fernandez finally joined Chelsea on transfer deadline day after a month of negotiations in which Benfica refused to accept anything less than his release clause being activated.

The 22-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge for an eye-watering British record transfer fee of ¬£107m after his standout performances for Argentina at the World Cup made him the Blues’ number one target.

Talks between the two were difficult at the best of times and Portuguese outlet Record have revealed that they got so heated that the two parties collided when Benfica proposed Mateo Kovacic joining them as part of a swap deal.

Record also claimed that Fernandez Рwho was pushing for the move to the two-time European champions Рthreatened to publish a video slamming the Benfica management.

In the report, they claim that Benfica president Rui Costa flew to London after Chelsea’s interest, with talks taking place between Todd Boehly, super agent Jorge Mendes and Costa during a meeting on January 3.

Enzo Fernandez

Costa is said to have left the room in a fury after the Blues proposed reducing their offer of £107m to £80m and offering players in return.

Among those include Jorginho, who went on to join Arsenal on deadline day instead, as well as Kovacic.

Chelsea deny the reports and deny that any physical confrontation, however they refused to comment when asked by the Daily Mail.

Fernandez could make his debut for Chelsea against Fulham tonight (Friday February 3) after the relevant paperwork was completed in time.

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