Benfica manager Roger Schmidt slams ‘disrespectful’ Chelsea over Enzo Fernandez pursuit

  • Benfica manager Roger Schmidt blasts ‘disrespectful’ Chelsea over Enzo Fernandez pursuit.

Benfica manager Roger Schmidt slams'disrespectful' Chelsea over Enzo Fernandez pursuit
Benfica manager Roger Schmidt slams ‘disrespectful’ Chelsea over Enzo Fernandez pursuit

In a fit of rage, Benfica manager Roger Schmidt blasted Chelsea over their efforts to sign midfielder Enzo Fernandez, calling the Blues’ manner of approach “disrespectful.”

Chelsea and the 21-year-old Fernandez reached a personal agreement earlier this winter. Despite Benfica’s steadfast refusal to sell, Chelsea had been pushing for a deal paid in instalments rather than activating his €120 million release clause.

In an effort to force a move, Fernandez even left Benfica training to return to Argentina without permission. However, because the Portuguese team insisted on receiving the entire €120 million, negotiations have broken down.

Schmidt has since updated the situation in a heated manner.

“I want to start by saying that Enzo is a very good boy and a fantastic player,” he said.We like him very much and we want him to stay. But his situation is not easy.

“He played in a World Cup, was World Champion and there’s a lot of money on the table. A player can get confused when he thinks about it and I think it’s a situation that everyone understands. He wasn’t allowed to go to Argentina, he missed training and that’s not acceptable. There will be consequences.


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“We don’t want to sell Enzo, neither I nor the president. We all know that he has a clause in his contract. If he wants to leave and if someone pays this clause, we can do nothing.

“There is a club who want our player, they know we don’t want to sell, they try to get the player on their side when they know they can only get this player when they pay the clause. It’s a clear situation, what the club who is trying to buy Enzo is doing is disrespectful against all of us, against Benfica. I cannot accept what they are doing.

“To make the player crazy, to pretend they can pay the clause and later they want to negotiate, it’s not what I understand about good relationships between clubs who maybe want to discuss about a player.”

Benfica has made it clear that they will only accept a deal that includes payment in full of Fernandez’s €120 million release clause, but Chelsea insists on a payment plan, and understands that Chelsea are still hoping to persuade Benfica to sell.

In addition to being penalized by Benfica for missing training, Fernandez has expressed his intention to sign with Chelsea this month. Schmidt is expected to leave Fernandez off the matchday squad for Friday’s game against Portimonense.

 

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