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Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea FC: Benfica boss slams star player after £106.8m move confirmed

A frantic deadline saw clubs agree terms on a British recording deal after a month-long negotiation that failed twice, with the figure eclipsing the £100million paid by Manchester City for Jack Grealish in 2021.

Schmidt was desperate for Fernandez, who was named the best young player at the recent World Cup, to stay, having seen the player score four goals and pick up seven assists during his six-month spell at the club.

And now the manager, having confirmed that ‘the deal is done’, has gone public with his disappointment with the midfielder’s position in Benfica’s exit process.

Speaking after Benfica’s 3-0 away win at Arouca, Schmidt said: “It’s always difficult to lose a good player in the winter market. But today we showed that we we are a good team without him, that we are able to play good football without him, that the players focus on getting the most points, to be champions.

“Benfica is much bigger than a player. We just need players who are happy to play for Benfica, with passion.

We had a player who wanted to leave and a club ready to pay the clause, we couldn’t do anything. We accepted and looked ahead.”

Sports standard

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