How Wolves nearly signed Enzo Fernandez for just £17m transfer fee less than year before Chelsea paid £107m | The Sun

WOLVES nearly signed Enzo Fernandez for just £17million – just seven months before his £107m Chelsea transfer.

The Argentine World Cup winner completed his British-record move from Benfica to Stamford Bridge on deadline day this week.

The Blues smashed the previous record held by Manchester City when they paid £100m for Aston Villa in 2021.

However, Fernandez could have been lining up in the Premier League from the beginning of the season – up the M40 at Molineux.

As reported by talkSPORT's Alex Crook, Wolves were "very close" to landing Fernandez from River Plate in a bargain £17m transfer.

In the end, the deal did not get over the line and Benfica picked the midfielder up for an initial £9m plus add-ons – inserting a whopping £107m release clause in his contract, although savvy River Plate pocket £26.5m of that.

The 22-year-old linked up with the Portuguese giants after his boyhood club were knocked out of the Copa Libertadores and he continued his rapid rise.

But it was at the World Cup that his stock soared as Fernandez was named Young Player of the Tournament and played a key role in Argentina ending their 36-year wait to be crowned world champions.

Fernandez played every minute of the knockout rounds as Argentina beat Australia, Holland, Croatia and France.

Chelsea tried to make a move to land the exciting talent early in the January transfer window but Benfica rejected their advances.

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But when the Blues went back and triggered his release clause in the final days of the window, they managed to get the deal over the line.

Fernandez will wear the No5 at Stamford Bridge after it was vacated by Jorginho, who made the switch across London to Arsenal.

And he could make his debut under the lights tomorrow night when Fulham make the short trip to the Bridge.

Relegation-threatened Wolves, meanwhile, signed Matheus Nunes and Boubacar Traore in the summer before adding Mario Lemina, Pablo Sarabia and Joao Gomes in January to bolster their midfield.

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