• Enzo Fernandez joined Benfica in the 2022 summer
  • His contract with Benfica is until 2027
  • The midfielder recently won the World Cup with Argentina

Chelsea are working hard to sign Argentina's World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez, but they reportedly have to meet one condition set by Benfica in order to secure the midfielder's services.

Fernandez, who joined Benfica in the summer, has a contract with them until 2027 with a release clause of around $127 million. Chelsea approached Benfica with an offer close to the release clause but it was instantly turned down by the Lisbon-based club. Benfica will only sell Fernandez if Chelsea pay $127 million upfront, reported Portuguese outlet Record.

Ever since Benfica chief Rui Costa revealed the club's demand, talks between the two clubs have collapsed and a new meeting has not been scheduled yet, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, who has a credible record in the European soccer market.

Chelsea, who are keen on strengthening their midfield for the remainder of the 2022-23 season, were willing to pay Fernandez's asking price in three installments, according to Goal. But Benfica want the Blues to pay the entire amount in the ongoing January transfer window.

Fernandez was named the Young Player of the Tournament as Argentina clinched the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. After not starting in Argentina's first two games, Fernandez started the remaining fixtures and also scored a goal and assisted one. His goal came against Mexico in the group stage when he came off the bench to score the second goal in Argentina's 2-0 victory.

Chelsea's Christian Pulisic (R) celebrates scoring against Leeds

The 21-year-old midfielder's market value skyrocketed to $58 million following his impressive run in the World Cup. Chelsea view him as one of the next big stars in world soccer.

It is believed that Fernandez is interested in a January move to the Premier League, but he'll have to wait and see if Chelsea trigger his release clause in the coming weeks.

Fernandez has started all the league games for Benfica this season, scoring a goal and providing three assists in 14 matches. Benfica are five points clear at the top of the Primeira Liga table. He also has two assists in five appearances in the Champions League.