Chelsea have agreed a British record 120m euro (£106m) deal for Benfica’s Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
The contract is not yet signed but documents are being put together to get the deal done before Tuesday’s 23:00 GMT deadline for Premier League clubs.
The deal eclipses the £100m Manchester City paid for Jack Grealish in 2021.
Fernandez, who only joined Benfica for a reported £10m in August, was named young player of the tournament during Argentina’s World Cup triumph in Qatar.
The 22-year-old’s arrival takes Chelsea’s January spending to £288m, according to transfer website Transfermarkt.
That follows an outlay of £292m in the summer – a record for a British club in the summer window.
It is the joint-sixth most expensive signing of all-time, equalling the 120m euros Barcelona paid for France forward Antoine Griezmann in 2019.
Previous most expensive signings by British clubs
|Player||Fee (year)||Club joining||Club leaving|
|Jack Grealish||£100m (2021)||Manchester City||Aston Villa|
|Romelu Lukaku||£97.5m (2021)||Chelsea||Inter Milan|
|Paul Pogba||£89m (2016)||Manchester United||Juventus|
|Antony||£82m (2022)||Manchester United||Ajax|
|Harry Maguire||£80m (2019)||Manchester United||Leicester City|
|Romelu Lukaku||£75m (2017)||Manchester United||Everton|
|Virgil van Dijk||£75m (2017)||Liverpool||Southampton|
|Jadon Sancho||£73m (2021)||Manchester United||Borussia Dortmund|
Fernandez, signed by Benfica from Argentine side River Plate, has scored four goals in 29 appearances for the Primeira Liga side.
He scored once during the World Cup, netting Argentina’s second goal in their 2-0 group-stage win over Mexico.
Chelsea have signed Noni Madueke, Mykhailo Mudryk, David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos, Benoit Badiashile and Malo Gusto on permanent deals in January.
They have also brought in Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid.
The Blues are 10th in the Premier League, 10 points adrift of the competition’s Champions League places after 20 matches.
The club was bought for £4.25bn by a consortium led by American investor Todd Boehly last May, after previous owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned over his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
World’s top transfer fees
Neymar [Barcelona – Paris St-Germain] £200m in 2017
Kylian Mbappe [Monaco – Paris St-Germain] £166m in 2017
Philippe Coutinho [Liverpool – Barcelona] £142m in 2018
Ousmane Dembele [Borussia Dortmund – Barcelona] total fee of £135m in 2017
Joao Felix [Benfica – Atletico Madrid] £113m in 2019
Antoine Griezmann [Atletico Madrid to Barcelona] £107m in 2019
Enzo Fernandez [Benfica to Chelsea] £106m in 2023
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