Chelsea have confirmed World Cup-winner Enzo Fernandez has completed his British record £106.8million transfer from Benifica after negotiations went to the final hours of a dramatic transfer deadline day.
Benfica were first to announce the signing overnight and Chelsea hailed Fernandez’s capture on Wednesday morning.
“The Argentinian midfielder has completed his transfer from Benfica to Chelsea,” said a statement on the club’s website.
The PA news agency understands that the 22-year-old undertook a medical in Lisbon on Tuesday evening as the clubs worked towards an agreement, with disagreements relating to the instalments in which the fee will be paid taking the deal down to the wire.
Fernandez becomes the eighth signing of a frantic window for the Blues, with a total January spend by owner Todd Boehly of around £318m.
Fernandez, who won the Silver Ball for best young player during Argentina’s triumphant World Cup in Qatar last year, has signed an eight-and-a-half-year contract, in keeping with the club’s policy this season of signing players on lengthy terms in order to spread their outgoings and remain within UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.
It takes the Blues’ spending since Boehly bought the club last May to more than £550m, though PA understands that UEFA are set to close the loophole that has allowed for such a large outlay by limiting contract length to five years.