Benfica manager Roger Schmidt has told Liverpool what they must do to sign midfielder Enzo Fernandez following fresh reports that talks over a move to Chelsea have ‘collapsed’.
Fernandez, who lifted the World Cup with Argentina last month, has been heavily linked with Liverpool in recent months, with reports from Portuguese outlet Record going as far as claiming that a ‘pre-agreement’ had been reached between the Reds and the 21-year-old midfielder.
However, it was revealed on Wednesday that the Blues had not reached an agreement to sign Fernandez, despite talks between the two clubs.
South American journalist @CLMerlo claimed that talks broke down because Chelsea did not offer the player’s release clause of €120 million. It was later reported by Record that they offered €90 million, plus Hakim Ziyech going the other way on a permanent deal and youngsters David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos on loan.
Metro claimed last week that there had been ‘informal contact’ with the club and Fernandez, with the Benfica star agreeing to join if a deal could be reached with Benfica.
But talks are now said to have ‘collapsed’ – and Benfica boss Schmidt has explained what Liverpool must do if they want to step in and reignite their interest in the player.
Benfica boss explains Liverpool sale conditions
Speaking in a press conference posted by Romano, a visibly angry Schmidt reiterated Benfica’s stance after Chelsea’s recent bid.
He said: “There is a club who want our player. They know we don’t want to sell the player. They tried to get the player on their side, and they know that they can only get this player when they pay the clause.
“It’s a very clear situation. What the club is doing, who wants to buy Enzo, is disrespectful against all of us, against Benfica. And I cannot accept what they are doing.
“To make the player crazy, then to pretend they can pay the clause, then later they want to negotiate, is not what I understand to be a good relationship between clubs who want to discuss about the player.”
Fernandez’s release clause stands at €120 million, meaning Liverpool or Chelsea must pay that clause in full if they want the 21-year-old, who won the FIFA Young Player award at the World Cup, to sign for them.