Benfica have begun the hunt for a replacement for Enzo Fernandez, who is the subject of transfer interest from Liverpool, Chelsea, and Real Madrid, according to O Jogo.
Fernandez has quickly become one of the most sought-after midfielders in the world. The winter transfer window is yet to open, but he is already being linked with moves to Liverpool and Chelsea among other clubs.
Benfica notably signed the midfielder from River Plate for an €18 million deal in July this year. Less than six months down the line, there is an expectation that a European big gun will trigger the €120 million release clause in his contract.
Fernandez’s possible departure in January has left the Primeira Liga club to start the hunt for a replacement. According to the aforementioned source, they initially zeroed in on Racing Club midfielder Carlos Alcaraz.
However, Racing are reportedly holding out for a sum of €18 million to sanction a transfer for the Argentinean. He also has interest from AC Milan and Wolverhampton Wanderers, thus making things complicated for Benfica.
Velez Sarsfield teenager Maximo Perrone has thus emerged as a potential replacement for Fernandez, as per the report. He is said to have a playing style very similar to that of the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner.
Benfica prepara futuro sem Enzo Fernández: Perrone é para avançar já dlvr.it/Sg54wV
Perrone, 19, has his contract with the Argentinean club expiring at the end of next year. He also has a release clause of around €10 million in his deal, thus making him an ideal target for Benfica.
The Portuguese giants have reportedly already opened talks with Velez over a deal for the youngster. It now remains to be seen if they can move forward and agree terms to acquire his services.
Benfica signing Perrone would open the door for the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea to sign Fernandez in January. Either club, though, would have to trigger the €120 million release clause in his deal.
Chelsea and Liverpool keen to revamp their midfield in 2023
Chelsea are keen to strengthen their midfield in 2023, with N’Golo Kante and Jorginho nearing the end of their contracts. They reportedly view Fernandez as a potential replacement for the Italian.
Liverpool not ruling out further signings in the January transfer window but Enzo Fernandez won’t be one of them. Jude Bellingham their number one midfield target and unlikely to move before the summer.
Liverpool are also determined to revamp their midfield next year, but have been ruled out of making a move for Fernandez. According to journalist David Lynch, they could wait until the summer to bring in a top midfielder as Jude Bellingham is their top target.
Real Madrid have young midfielders Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in their ranks. However, they could sign another player in the position, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in their 30s.
To read more news, click here.