Media Digest: Another club has reportedly joined the race to sign Benfica star Enzo Fernández while Liverpool and Arsenal have been told of a transfer deadline.
Youri Tielemans has been linked sporadically with a move to Liverpool at times in the past (including via the Leicester Mercury), with the Belgian midfielder out of contract at the end of the season.
The Reds and Arsenal have both been named as possible destinations for the 25-year-old but Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has offered an update.
“I haven’t spoken to him since he came back [from the World Cup],” Rodgers explained in a press conference ahead of his side’s Boxing Day fixture with Newcastle United.
“It’s something between him and the club. My focus is on the player. He loves being here, but it’s a big contract for him, so he will be taking his time over what he wants to do. He’s a joy to work with.”
Clock ticking on midfielder ‘chase’
AC Milan midfielder Ismaël Bennacer has also been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal, but Calciomercato report that the 25-year-old could soon sign a new deal — with the Serie A side wanting it done inside the next seven days, before the January transfer window opens.
Corriere Della Serra went as far as reporting that Liverpool had submitted an offer for the player back at the end of November.
That new contract would put an end to speculation surrounding an exit, though, in all likelihood, with his current deal running until 2024. The new contract would run until 2027 and would contain a higher release clause, though there is no indication of specifically what that would be.
His current release clause stands at £44m ($53m/€50m). Chelsea have also been named in some quarters as a possible destination, while Bennacer spent two years at Arsenal earlier in his career and the Gunners have been linked with a reunion with the player.
Enzo Fernández ‘competition’
Liverpool transfer target Enzo Fernández is also on the radar of Manchester United, according to Brazilian outlet UOL. They report that the Old Trafford side are willing to pay the release clause that is included in the contract of the Argentinean.
The value of that release clause stands at £106m ($128m/€120m) and Benfica might yet decide that they want to get that in full, but they are said to want that for certain in January — perhaps being more willing to negotiate in the summer.
Even if the full release clause is not ultimately the fee that the Portuguese side hold out for, they will be more than happy to hear of increased competition for the player’s signature, with Liverpool, Real Madrid and PSG also having been mentioned as possible destinations.
His former club, River Plate, will get a percentage of any sell-on fee and the more teams involved in the race, the likelier they are to get as big a sum as possible for the 21-year-old.