According to reports in Portugal, Manchester United are closely watching the progress of Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez and could make a move in January to sign him. Erik ten Hag wants to strengthen his squad depth and has identified the Argentine as a key transfer target.
The Argentinian midfielder joined Benfica from River Plate for a mere €12m this summer. He immediately became an important cog for the team and caught the eyes of many clubs with his performances. In 18 games in the league and Champions League so far this season, Fernandez has 1 goal and 5 assists against his name (stats via Transfermarkt).
The central midfielder put in eye-catching performances against Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, as Benfica topped their Champions League group. His displays also warranted a national team call-up to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Earlier last month, according to 90min, Manchester United are paying close attention to Enzo Fernandez, and have scouted the player in recent weeks. The report states that the Red Devils have been closely tracking his development since his move to Europe.
Moreover, Portuguese outlet Record (via Man Utd News) suggests that the Manchester club are determined to sign the 21-year-old as early as the winter transfer window itself. The Argentine was on the club’s radar since his River Plate days, but his recent performances have convinced them of signing him.
Barcelona and Liverpool are also reported to be interested parties, as per Sport. Wolves were interested in the midfielder last transfer window but ultimately lost out to the Portuguese side. Newcastle United and Manchester City are also said to be monitoring the progress of the Argentina international.
>>Jugador sub-23 a seguir<<
Enzo Fernández no disputó ningún minuto de las eliminatorias pero se ha hecho un hueco en la plantilla con sus actuaciones impresionantes para el Benfica
El jugador de la Primeira Liga con más pases que rompen líneas y incursiones en el último tercio pic.twitter.com/KEg18S1Xw6
— StatsBombES (@StatsBombES) November 15, 2022
However, any transfer for the 21-year-old will not be cheap. Benfica paid €12 million for Fernandez in the summer. The club reportedly have inserted a £106 million release clause. His contract also runs until 2027. Other reports suggest that the Primeira Liga side could demand more than €50 million for their starman.
Meanwhile, Manchester United have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Enzo Fernandez by Portuguese football expert Sofia Oliveira. The journalist believes that Benfica would be willing to sell the midfielder next summer and has urged United to make a move in July. Speaking to CNN Portugal (via Sports Mole), Oliveira said:
“Enzo Fernandez was a good fit for Manchester United. Fernandez is one of the most complete players that have passed through Portugal in recent years.”
“He is a very complete midfielder and Argentina will have a world-class player on their hands if everything goes well.
“He will probably be on the market at the end of the season. There is a list of players that will have more value at Benfica by then and they will have more difficulties in holding on to them.”
The Red Devils made a solid investment in Casemiro during the summer transfer window. The Brazilian has nicely settled as the fulcrum of Erik ten Hag’s system. Nevertheless, United still need a good deep-lying playmaker to complement the former Real Madrid man.
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Fred and Scott McTominay have struggled for regular minutes, while Christian Eriksen is better suited for a slightly more advanced role. They could target Enzo Fernandez as the perfect player to partner the Brazilian defensive midfielder. However, given their hectic summer transfer window, it remains to be seen just how much the Red Devils can splurge on one single player in the upcoming windows.
The Red Devils are also reportedly tracking Jude Bellingham and Moises Caicedo as potential targets. If Manchester United want to snap up Enzo Fernandez, they will have to act as quickly as possible in the winter transfer window, as the 21-year-old’s market price and interest are only expected to rise further.
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