Enzo Fernandez, a midfielder for Benfica, has been acquired by Chelsea for a British-record £106.8 million.
The Argentine deal exceeds the £100 million Manchester City spent Aston Villa for Jack Grealish 18 months ago.
The 22-year-old, who only joined Benfica last summer for over £10 million, has committed to Stamford Bridge for eight and a half years, keeping him with the team until the summer of 2031.
Chelsea and Benfica had been in negotiations for the World Cup champion throughout the month of January, but Benfica would not agree to a deal unless Chelsea met his €120 million release clause.
Nevertheless, after 12 hours of negotiations spearheaded by Chelsea’s co-owner Behdad Eghbali from London, the club reached a €121 million agreement at 9.15 p.m. on Deadline Day.
The first installment from the Blues will be for £30 million, with the remaining sum to be paid in five additional installments.
The 22-year-old was absent from the Benfica team for their match against Arouca on Tuesday night because he was in Portugal for a medical before moving to Stamford Bridge.
A private plane is expected to depart the airport in Lisbon at 10.20 a.m. on Wednesday to transport Fernandez to the United Kingdom.
Fernandez will help to replace Jorginho, who signed a £12 million agreement to join Chelsea’s London rivals Arsenal on Deadline Day.
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