Benfica ‘respect’ Enzo Fernandez’s decision over future amid interest from Chelsea

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Benfica manager Roger Schmidt has suggested Enzo Fernandez could make a January move away from the club.

The midfielder shone at the World Cup for Argentina, picking up the Young Player of the Tournament award for his displays as he country went all the way in Qatar.

It’s no surprise then that a number of big clubs across Europe are interested in Fernandez, just six months after the 21-year-old joined Benfica from River Plate.

Chelsea are one of those linked with Fernandez, though Benfica remain adamant that they will not sell for less than the £105m release clause that is in place.

The Blues have already expressed their willingness to pay that amount, and the Benfica boss’ latest comments will give them encouragement that Fernandez wants a move.

“I can’t reveal those conversations,” Schmidt said via Record when asked about his discussions with Fernandez.

‘When I talk to the players, these are things I keep to myself. What I can say is what I’ve already said. We all know what football is like.

“These young people have opportunities, and it’s not just about Enzo. If they have opportunities, they have to make decisions, and I respect them.

“I can advise them, but they only have one career. If I can convince them or influence them in a certain way, I try to do it, but I accept their decisions.”

Midfield is a key area for Chelsea. Along with Fernandez, the Blues are also interested in England midfield duo Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham.

With N’Golo Kante and Jorginho’s contracts expiring at the end of the season, Chelsea are looking to bolster the options available to Graham Potter.