Enzo Fernandez has become one of the hottest commodities in the transfer market in light of his eye-catching performances for Argentina at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
The 21-year-old SL Benfica midfielder was named the Best Young Player of the Tournament after he helped La Albiceleste win the World Cup.
His exploits in Qatar and his performances for Benfica prior to that have meant that a slew of clubs from across Europe have cast admiring glances towards the young midfielder.
Real Madrid and Liverpool are already said to be battling for Enzo Fernandez’s signing. But Portuguese publication Record is reporting that the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and PSG are also in the hunt to sign the midfielder.
Los Blancos’ search for a new midfielder is no secret as the reigning champions of Spain and Europe are looking to transition from the old guard of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, who are entering the final phase of their respective careers.
Bellingham has been the top priority for Real Madrid for a long time now. And while reports suggest that they are now in pole position to sign the England international, the Merengues are keeping their options open, especially with Liverpool pushing for his signing as well.
Enzo Fernandez, to that end, has emerged as a Plan B. But, given the number of top clubs interested in the 21-year-old could make it difficult for Real Madrid to land him either.
At the same time, though, Benfica will demand any interested club pay the Argentine star’s entire €120 million release clause amount. There will be no room for negotiations with regard to the transfer fee, with the report suggesting that they have already rejected a €100 million bid for him.
What now remains to be seen is whether Real Madrid push for Fernandez’s signing or continue to prioritise a move for Bellingham, who could also cost around €120 million.
Real Madrid’s 29-year-old star upset with his situation, desires more clarity on role
At Real Madrid, the quest for securing a spot in the first-team lineup involves battling it out with some of the best players in European football.
Competition is generally considered the perfect antidote to complacency and the Merengues‘ immensely talented roster encapsulates that sentiment best.
While injuries have done a number on the team, there is still an abundance of competition in the squad. As of now, the fight for a spot in the starting lineup is most intense among the goalkeepers.
Indeed, since the beginning of the campaign, there has been no fixed goalkeeper with both Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga featuring between the sticks alternately.
However, after being acquired on a season-long loan to fill in the absence of Thibaut Courtois, Kepa is not entirely content with his situation.
Kepa unsatisfied with the unclarity
Indeed, as per The Athletic, Kepa is extremely disappointed with his situation and how the coaching staff at Real Madrid have been handling the matter.
Ancelotti has not clearly explained his reasoning as to which of Lunin and Kepa is currently his first-choice keeper.
And according to sources close to him, Kepa is unhappy and would have preferred further clarification on the matter from the manager.
Lunin in the driving seat
Owing to Lunin’s exceptional form lately, he has successfully displaced Kepa as the first-choice goalkeeper.
In fact, Kepa has not started a game since Real Madrid’s clash against Almeria last month in which they leaked two goals.
It is safe to assume Kepa’s frustrations stem from the fact that he initially arrived as the primary keeper to replace Courtois and turned down an offer from Bayern Munich to join the Madrid outfit.
As such, being shunned and having minimal clarity from the coaching staff’s preferred goalkeeper has led to dissatisfaction.
As things stand, Real Madrid have no plans of signing him permanently, given that Chelsea would ask around €20 million for him, something that the club have intentions of paying.