Chelsea complete UK transfer record with signing of Enzo Fernandes

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Chelsea have completed the signing of Enzo Fernandes for £106m, a British transfer record.

The Blues fulfilled Benfica’s release clause for the Argentine midfielder just before Tuesday’s transfer deadline.

The Portuguese side confirmed the deal in a statement after midnight after Chelsea rushed to complete the transfer.

Chelsea have spent more than £300m this month, with Fernandes’ signing breaking the previous Premier League record set by Manchester City’s £100m move for Jack Grealish.

Fernandes, 22, was named the best young player at the World Cup and played for Argentina as they lifted the trophy in Qatar.

Benfica insisted Fernandes would not sell for less than his release clause and Chelsea finally fulfilled their demands ahead of the 11pm transfer deadline.

Chelsea got a head start in the closing minutes of the transfer window as the Blues broke a British transfer record by signing Enzo Fernandes from Benfica.

The 22-year-old midfielder has signed a contract with the Argentine world champions until 2031, for which Chelsea will pay €121m (£106.8m).

In announcing the deal, Benfica said: “In a statement filed with the Securities Market Commission (CMVM) at 00:13 this Wednesday, February 1st, Sporting Lisboa and FC Benfica announced that they had entered into a The football club has reached an agreement to sell all the rights to the player Enzo Fernandez for 121 million euros.

“Benfica SAD also stated that Chelsea FC will have the right to maintain the 3.78% solidarity mechanism for subsequent distribution to clubs participating in player training.

“Additionally, Benfica SAD will charge a brokerage service fee equivalent to 6.56% of the sale value deducted from the solidarity amount, and they must deliver to River Plate an amount equivalent to 25% of the transfer value deducted from the solidarity amount brokerage service”

The Fernandes deal has pushed Chelsea’s spending to the £550m (€620m) mark since last summer and breaks the previous £100m (€113m) signing of Jack by Manchester City in August 2021. The British transfer record set after Grealish.

Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain’s attempt to sign Morocco star Hakim Ziyech on loan from Stamford Bridge fell through after the French league (LFP) refused to approve the player’s contract, a source close to the deal told AFP.

PSG have asked the LFP to approve the deal despite receiving the necessary documents after Tuesday’s French transfer deadline.

Ligue 1 clubs have until 23:00 (2200GMT) on Tuesday to send all contracts to the league, and then have an hour to register transfers in the FIFA system, which validates all international transfers.

Ziyech passed a medical and the club agreed to loan the player to Paris Saint-Germain until the end of the season.

However, sources claim the Premier League club have failed to submit the necessary paperwork in time to complete the move for the 29-year-old winger on time.

As a result, PSG applied to the LFP for special permission, which was promptly rejected.

The Ligue 1 leaders who will face Bayern Munich in the first round of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on February 14 cannot make any signings in the winter window.

They are also targeting Inter Milan’s Slovak centre-back Milan Skriniar, but he will now remain with the Italian club until his contract expires at the end of the season.
Chelsea have completed the signing of Enzo Fernandes for £106m, a British transfer record.

The Blues fulfilled Benfica’s release clause for the Argentine midfielder just before Tuesday’s 11pm transfer deadline.

The Portuguese side confirmed the deal in a statement after midnight after Chelsea rushed to complete the transfer.

Chelsea have spent more than £300m this month, while Fernandes’ move broke City’s previous Premier League record and shattered the £100m signing of Jack Grealish in August 2021.

Fernandes, 22, was named the best young player at the World Cup and played for Argentina as they lifted the trophy in Qatar. He was signed from Benfica for around €10m last summer and made just 29 appearances for the club.
Benfica were adamant that Fernandez would not be sold at a price below his release clause and Chelsea eventually met their demands shortly before the 11pm transfer deadline, when an agreement was reached between the clubs over the structure of the payments.

River Plate, who were Fernandez’s first club in Argentina, will receive 25 per cent of the fee due to a sell-on clause included in the previous deal.

Fernandez is set to sign an eight-and-a-half-year contract at Stamford Bridge, as Chelsea continued their approach of signing up some of the game’s most promising young stars to long-term deals.

The signing of Fernandez is Chelsea’s seventh major transfer of the January window, following Mykhailo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, Malo Gusto, Andrey Santos and David Datro Fofana. Joao Felix has also arrived on loan until the end of the season.

In total, Chelsea have spent more this month than the rest of the Premier League combined did in January 2022.

Jorginho signs for Arsenal as Manchester United quickly turn to Sabitzer loan

Chelsea had earlier seen a midfielder leave Stamford Bridge as Jorginho joined Arsenal on an 18-month deal.

The 31-year-old Italy international moved across London after Arsenal had been keen to strengthen their midfield options following Mohamed Elneny’s serious knee injury earlier in the month.

Manchester United, meanwhile, completed their shock loan signing of Marcel Sabitzer. The Red Devils made their move for the Bayern Munich midfielder after it emerged that Christian Eriksen would be ruled out until early May, with the 28-year-old arriving on loan until the end of the season.

Tottenham announced the signing of Pedro Porro from Sporting Lisbon 10 minutes before the deadline.

The 23-year-old wing-back has signed on loan until the end of the season with an obligation to make the move permanent in the summer.

Spurs had earlier torn up Matt Doherty’s contract to allow the Republic of Ireland full-back to join Atletico Madrid.

Doherty’s departure was initially set to be temporary, but that would have taken Tottenham up to nine players out on loan and FIFA’s limit is eight.

Djed Spence, another Spurs full-back, has joined Ligue 1 side Rennes for the rest of the season.

Bournemouth completed a busy January with the deadline-day signings of Illia Zabarnyi and Hamed Traore.

Ukraine defender Zabarnyi has penned a five-and-a-half-year deal after leaving Dynamo Kyiv, while Ivory Coast midfielder Traore joins from Serie A outfit Sassuolo on an initial loan agreement which will become permanent in the summer for a further five years.

Nottingham Forest also had a frenetic finish to the window with three signings in the final hour or so before the deadline.

Veteran defender Felipe came in from Atletico Madrid, midfielder Jonjo Shelvey joined from Newcastle and goalkeeper Keylor Navas signed on loan from Paris St Germain.

Crystal Palace added to their midfield resources with Stuttgart’s Naouirou Ahamada and Albert Sambi Lokonga, who has agreed a loan deal from Arsenal until the end of the season.

Fulham signed Torino midfielder Sasa Lukic for a reported fee of around £9m.

Lukic, who joins his fellow Serbian international Aleksandar Mitrovic at Craven Cottage, has agreed a four-and-a-half-year deal, with Fulham holding an option to extend by a further 12 months.

Leeds saw Diego Llorente leave for Roma on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent deal, but signed a player for the future in 18-year-old centre-back Diogo Monteiro from Swiss Super League side Servette.

Leicester signed Australia defender Harry Souttar from Stoke on a five-and-a-half year deal, with Ayoze Perez joining Real Betis for the rest of the season.