have finally made a breakthrough in their pursuit of and now expect to smash the British transfer record on the Benfica midfielder.
The Blues were strongly linked with a move for winner Fernandez at the start of the transfer window, but talks broke down as Benfica insisted he was not for sale.
Despite Benfica’s stance, Chelsea revived their interest in Fernandez over the weekend, with Stamford Bridge owner personally involved in talks.
Chelsea indicated they were ready to spend more than £100m to bring Fernandez to west London before the January transfer window shuts on Tuesday night.
Benfica have continued to dig their heels in, however, forcing Chelsea to increase their offer to around £115m – a British transfer record.
The staggering sum of money appears to have forced Benfica’s hand as say Chelsea are now close to reaching an agreement to bring Fernandez to the Premier League.
It is claimed confidence is growing on both sides that the deal will be completed, with 22-year-old Fernandez on the verge of becoming the most expensive signing in Premier League history.
Fernandez only joined Portuguese outfit Benfica last summer but has already made a huge impact at the club and helped Argentina win the World Cup in Qatar.
He has a release clause of £105m but Chelsea have offered even more money to allow them to structure the payments in instalments, rather than pay the entire fee up front.
While Fernandez has not publicly pushed for a move, he is keen to move to the Premier League and did not train with his team-mates on Monday morning.
Benfica boss Roger Schmidt gave another update on Fernandez’s future on Monday, telling reporters: ‘While the transfer windows are open, we have to be prepared for anything.
‘We all know that there is this situation with Enzo, who has a release clause and, if there is a club that pays it, it’s a lot of money, we cannot prevent it.
‘If that happens, we’ll have to be prepared and find solutions. At the moment, Enzo is still our player and we’ll see what happens until the end of the market.
‘When the transfer window closes I will be very happy, we will be able to focus fully again on playing at our best until the end of the season.
‘He’s our player and he has all the support. As I said before, he’s a great person and a great player.
‘While the market is open, you always have to wait for something to happen, we know how the football business works. That’s all I can say on this subject.’
Chelsea have spent more than £450m on new signings since American businessman Boehly took over, signing seven new players in January.
Noni Madueke, Mykhailo Mudryk, David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos, Benoit Badiashile and Malo Gusto have all signed permanent deals with the Blues this month, while Joao Felix is on loan from Atletico Madrid.
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