The Blues have intensified their efforts to sign Fernandez without paying his release clause.
Benfica won’t sell Enzo Fernandez for anything less than his release clause, according to manager Roger Schmidt.
Fernandez, who joined Benfica from River Plate last year, attracted interest from Chelsea after his brilliant performances for Argentina in the World Cup.
The Blues seemed close to finalizing a deal for Fernandez by paying his £106m release clause. However, the English giants have reportedly contacted Benfica to negotiate a lower fee in recent days.
The move has angered Schmidt, who seems fed up with Chelsea’s transfer tactics.
“We don’t want to sell Enzo, neither I nor the president,” he told reporters on Thursday.
“We all know he has a clause in his contract. If he wants to leave and if someone meets this clause, we can do nothing.
“There is a club that wants the player, that knows we don’t want to sell, that tries to put the player on their side when they know that the only way to get him is to beat the clause.
“The situation is very clear. What that club is doing to try to sign Enzo is [showing] a lack of respect for Benfica.
“I cannot accept what they are doing. They try to drive the player crazy, pretending they’re going to pay the clause and then say they want to negotiate.
“I think that’s not the way for two clubs to have good relations.”