Benfica manager Roger Schmidt has criticised former player Enzo Fernandez’s conduct as he pushed for a stunning £106.8million move to Chelsea.
A frantic deadline day saw the clubs finally agree terms on a British record deal after a month-long negotiation which twice broke down, the figure eclipsing the £100m Manchester City paid for Jack Grealish in 2021.
Schmidt was desperate for Fernandez, who was named the best young player at the recent World Cup, to stay, having seen the player score four goals and grab seven assists during his six-month stint at the club.
And now the manager, having confirmed that “the deal is done”, has gone public with his disappointment of the midfielder’s stance in the process of leaving Benfica.
Speaking after Benfica’s 3-0 away win at Arouca, Schmidt said: “It’s always difficult to lose a good player in the winter market.
but today we showed that we are a good team without him, that we are capable of playing good football without him, that the players are focused on getting the most points, to be champions.
We just need players who are happy to play for Benfica, who are passionate.
We had a player who wanted to leave and a club willing to pay the clause, we couldn’t do anything.