2K93RMD Lisbon, Portugal. 25th Oct, 2022. Enzo Fernandez of SL Benfica seen in action during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between SL Benfica and Juventus FC at the Luz stadium. (Credit Image: © Henrique Casinhas/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire)

Portuguese press seem to be all in on Enzo Fernandez to Liverpool

Enzo Fernandez has emerged as a popular name among Liverpool supporters after the World Cup, and claims in Portugal are that Anfield is his “priority.”

Though he did not begin the tournament as a first-choice starter for Argentina, Benfica midfielder Fernandez became one of their most important players.

So much so that, after lifting the trophy in Qatar on Sunday, the 21-year-old was named Young Player of the Tournament, having led for touches, passes and tackles in the victory over France.

As the World Cup took place, links between Fernandez and Liverpool increased, with claims even that an agreement was already in place with the player himself.

No such deal has been struck with Benfica, of course, with a release clause worth €120 million negotiated into the contract signed when he joined from River Plate in 2021.

But speculation from Portugal continues to suggest that Merseyside is Fernandez’s preferred destination, with O Jogo now describing it as his “priority.”

This is despite interest from other clubs in England, Spain, Italy and France, with it even claimed that an agreement has been reached with his agent.

DOHA, QATAR - Wednesday, November 30, 2022: Argentina's Enzo Fernández during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Poland and Argentina at the Stadium 974. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Previous reports from Record and A Bola have backed up claims of interest, with the former having also asserted that Liverpool were leading the race at the end of November, as per Sport Witness.

However, it is maintained that Benfica would not consider the sale of their No. 13 mid-season, though there is no stopping hands from being shaken on a summer transfer at this point.

Furthermore, River Plate news source River al Instante have claimed that Liverpool are preparing to offer £80 million for the midfielder, with £20 million of that going to the Argentine club.

That is due to a 25 percent sell-on clause being included in Benfica’s deal with River Plate last year, having only acquired 75 percent of the player’s rights.

This is typical practice for clubs in South America and elsewhere in Europe, though third-party ownership is outlawed in the Premier League.

DOHA, QATAR - Saturday, November 26, 2022: Argentina's Enzo Fernández celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Mexico at the Lusail Stadium. Argentina won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Whether this structure would suit Benfica remains to be seen, though, with Fernandez’s performances in Qatar – and the widespread interest, if reports in Portugal are to be believed – only strengthening their stance in talks.

As it stands, sources on Merseyside have downplayed suggestions that a deal was already in place, but it is upheld that Liverpool had been tracking the midfielder.

One aspect of the story can be ruled out, however, with reports that Benfica were bringing in Emre Can in the January transfer window already rubbished by Record.