Benfica to ‘restart from zero’ with Enzo Fernandez after Chelsea transfer saga

Staying put? Enzo Fernandez has seen a £112m move to Chelsea stall  (AFP via Getty Images)
Staying put? Enzo Fernandez has seen a £112m move to Chelsea stall (AFP via Getty Images)

Benfica manager Roger Schmidt says the club are ready to “restart from zero” with Enzo Fernandez after Chelsea’s botched move to sign the midfielder.

The Lisbon giants are unhappy with the Blues’ pursuit of the 21-year-old, who helped Argentina win the World Cup in Qatar last month.

Standard Sport understands Chelsea were looking to pay Fernandez’s huge release clause of £112m over a series of instalments as they bid to stay in line with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

Benfica, however, are eager to keep the player in the Portuguese capital until the end of the season, having only signed him from River Plate in August.

Fernandez is thought to have broadly agreed personal terms with Chelsea but it remains unclear as to whether or not talks can be salvaged.

Schmidt has frequently expressed his desire to hold onto Fernandez and has vowed to reintegrate him back into the squad.

“Now we restart from zero with Enzo,” he said.

“He will be back today, we count on him - he’s our player, we need Enzo.”