Chelsea sign Fernandez for British record fee, Sabitzer joins Man United
LONDON - Chelsea have completed the British record £105 million ($169.77 million) signing of Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez, Portuguese club Benfica confirmed on Wednesday.
After a day of negotiations between the two clubs, Premier League team Chelsea reached agreement to pay the release fee for the 22-year-old Argentina World Cup winner.
Fernandez was instrumental in Argentina’s World Cup campaign in Qatar, breaking into the starting lineup and playing every game before capping off the tournament by bagging the Young Player Award.
He had moved from Argentine side River Plate to Benfica only last year and has played 29 times in all competitions, scoring four goals and grabbing seven assists.
The fee for him eclipses the £100 million Manchester City paid Aston Villa for England midfielder Jack Grealish in 2021.
Fernandez becomes Chelsea’s eighth recruit in the mid-season transfer window after the London club signed Mykhailo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, Andrey Santos, David Fofana and Malo Gusto while Joao Felix arrived on loan from Atletico Madrid.
The club’s total outlay on players since last year’s takeover by an investment group led by American Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital to more than £500 million.
Elsewhere on deadline day, Manchester United completed the loan signing of Bayern Munich midfielder Marcel Sabitzer.
Sabitzer became a late target for United after Christian Eriksen was ruled out because of an ankle injury that could sideline him until early May.
“Sometimes in life you have to make quick and important decisions. From the moment I heard about this opportunity I knew it was right for me,” the 28-year-old Austrian said.
Sabitzer has made 54 appearances for Bayern since joining in August 2021, having previously captained RB Leipzig .He has 68 caps for Austria.
Among other late deals, rugged Australia defender Harry Souttar, 24, joined Leicester City for a reported £15 million fee, on a five-and-a-half year contract, while Arsenal swooped for Chelsea midfielder Jorginho for £12 million, after the Gunners failed in their pursuit of Brighton’s Moises Caceido.
Three-time Champions League winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas joined relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest on loan from Paris Saint-Germain for the rest of the season, while Spurs terminated the contract of Irish defender Matt Doherty, who joined La Liga side Atletico Madrid on a free transfer. - REUTERS
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