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Monday, January 30, 2023

Man Utd ‘advancing’ in Fernandez talks as release clause under threat

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Man Utd’s next six Premier League fixtures Invalid emailWe use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More infoManchester United are reportedly advancing in their pursuit of World Cup-winning midfielder Enzo Fernandez. The Argentina hero has just arrived back at Benfica with interested parties set to ramp up their efforts over the coming days, and super-agent Jorge Mendes supposedly has hold of a bid that will trigger his release clause. Fernandez was only starting to become a household name in the lead-up to the World Cup, having switched River Plate for Benfica in the summer. Followers of Portuguese football were already wise to his eye-catching talent, but big clubs truly sat up and took note when he repeated those performances in Qatar. Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni took some persuading to phase Fernandez into the side but he eventually listened to fans’ cries and didn’t look back thereafter. Following a series of commanding performances, including in the final against France, the 21-year-old was named the Best Young Player at the tournament. Benfica are aware that serious interest is sure to be fired their way in January but they have attempted to warn off suitors by demanding the full extent of his reported £105million release clause. JUST IN: Tottenham ‘arrange Ndombele meeting’ but Napoli plan may anger Levy Benfica are reportedly fearful of having Enzo Fernandez’s release clause activated (Image: GETTY)Fernandez’s superb showings on football’s biggest stage mean even that may not be enough amid murmurs of a huge offer in the hands of Mendes. Portuguese newspaper Record, via Sport Witness, do not name the bidder but, with taxes, it is thought to exceed the £113m Atletico Madrid paid Benfica for Joao Felix in 2019, therefore triggering his release clause. It is unclear whether or not United are behind such a bid, having spent heavily during the summer transfer window. Reports out of Portugal suggest that the Red Devils have made solid progress in new talks for Fernandez, with Liverpool also in the mix. DON’T MISS… Man City boss Guardiola ready to cash in favour with Ben White pursuit Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp ‘makes phone call’ to Eljif Elmas Nunez confuses Liverpool fans and Robertson makes history in Villa winOne way or another, the cream could rise to the top over the coming days with Fernandez back from his World Cup celebrations and free to consider his future. The January transfer window is just a matter of days away and United may feel as though they have to make a statement after missing out on Cody Gakpo, who is set to sign a six-year deal at Anfield. Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag spent big on Casemiro during the summer but he would supposedly welcome more midfield recruits after missing out on top target Frenkie de Jong. Despite only making 13 league appearances in European football, Fernandez would be a major coup at a major price.  Enzo Fernandez was named Best Young Player at the 2022 World Cup (Image: GETTY)”I don’t know about my future or proposals, that’s what my representative is taking care of,” said Fernandez when quizzed on his future this week. “I don’t want to get into the subject. I am focused on Benfica, we have a game on Friday.”United are thought to be out of the running for another fine young midfielder in Jude Bellingham with Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid each putting forward their own case ahead of a move in 2023. 

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