Enzo Fernandez joins Chelsea for British-record transfer fee

(AP) — Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez became the most expensive player in British soccer history after joining Chelsea from Benfica for 106.7 million pounds ($131.4 million), the Portuguese club announced Wednesday.

The fee surpassed the 100 million pounds (then $139 million) that Manchester City paid Aston Villa for England international Jack Grealish in August 2021.

Chelsea agreed to pay the release clause in the 22-year-old World Cup winner’s contract after a day of negotiations between Benfica and the co-owners of the Premier League club.

Fernandez only joined Benfica from Argentine club River Plate in August, for a reported fee of around $10 million plus add-ons.

His profile increased at the World Cup in Qatar last year, when he broke into Argentina’s team during its run to winning the title.