Chelsea record signing Enzo Fernandez was nearly signed by Premier League relegation strugglers for just £17million: Reports

Enzo Fernandez has beaten Jack Grealish to become Premier League record signing.
Enzo Fernandez has beaten Jack Grealish to become Premier League record signing.

Wolverhampton Wanderers were reportedly close to roping in Chelsea midfielder Enzo Fernandez for just £17 million last summer.

Fernandez, 22, secured a permanent move to Chelsea from Benfica for a Premier League record fee of £107 million on the winter transfer deadline day. He was on the Blues' radar since his fine performances for champions Argentina at last year's 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

A tireless operator at the heart of midfield, the Argentine bagged the Young Player of the Tournament award after registering a goal and an assist in seven matches. Subsequently, his stock witnessed a rise.

Enzo Fernandez has had a crazy last couple of months 🤩

As per talkSPORT journalist Alex Crook, Wolves were very close to signing Fernandez ahead of the ongoing 2022-23 season. The club lodged a transfer bid of £17 million but River Plate opted to offload him to Benfica for an initial fee of around £9 million plus potential add-ons.

After failing in their pursuit of Fernandez, Julen Lopetegui's side signed Matheus Nunes from Sporting CP for around £40 million last summer. The Premier League relegation strugglers added two more midfielders, namely Joao Gomes and Mario Lemina, for a combined sum of over £26 million during the recently concluded winter window.

Meanwhile, Fernandez has signed an eight-and-a-half-year contract at Stamford Bridge. He is set to don the #5 jersey after Jorginho sealed a £12 million transfer to Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Apart from Fernandez, Chelsea also signed Mykhailo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, Malo Gusto, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana and Joao Felix, albeit on loan, for £200 million in January.

The depth Chelsea have throughout their squad 🤯

Chelsea record signing Enzo Fernandez offers his gratitude to new Blues owners

Speaking to club media, Enzo Fernandez expressed his excitement about joining the Blues from Benfica on the transfer deadline day. He said:

"I am grateful to Chelsea and its ownership for doing everything they could to make me a part of this project. I'm happy and excited to join the Pride of London, to play in the best league in the world and to compete for the biggest trophies. I can't wait to play in front of our fans and help my teammates on and off the pitch."

Fernandez is expected to make his debut for his new club in their Premier League home clash against Fulham on Friday (3 February).

Prior to joining Chelsea, Fernandez registered four goals and seven assists in 29 matches across all competitions for Benfica this season.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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