Benfica boss Roger Schmidt admits £106m Chelsea target Enzo Fernandez could have played his final game for the club - as reports in Portugal claim Argentine World Cup star 'did not want to play in defeat at Braga'

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Benfica boss Roger Schmidt admits £106m Chelsea target Enzo Fernandez could have played his final game for the club - as reports in Portugal claim Argentine World Cup star 'did not want to play in defeat at Braga'

Benfica manager Roger Schmidt admits Chelsea target Enzo Fernandez may have played his last game for the Portuguese club - amid claims the Argentina World Cup winner did not want to take part in Friday's defeat against Sporting Braga.

Chelsea have made 'a substantial offer' for the midfielder, who helped Argentina win this month's World Cup final, but it is understood to be in instalments rather than his £106million release clause outright.

The 21-year-old was selected to play for Benfica against Braga on Friday night but has already told his club he is open to making the move if Chelsea can agree a fee.

Enzo Fernandez may have played his last Benfica game on Friday, says manager Roger Schmidt

Enzo Fernandez may have played his last Benfica game on Friday, says manager Roger Schmidt

Enzo Fernandez may have played his last Benfica game on Friday, says manager Roger Schmidt

Schmidt praised Fernandez for being a 'great player' but admits they have to see what happens

Schmidt praised Fernandez for being a 'great player' but admits they have to see what happens

The 21-year-old starred for Argentina during their World Cup triumph in Qatar

The 21-year-old starred for Argentina during their World Cup triumph in Qatar

And Schmidt admitted after Benfica's defeat at Braga that he is not sure whether Fernandez will play for the club again.

'I don't know if that was the last match of Enzo,' he said. 'I think Enzo is a great player. Since he arrived at Benfica, he's played fantastic football. 

'Also, as a person, he's completely identified with the club.

'Like I said before the match, sometimes things in football happen and then players have to make decisions. We will see what happens [in the] next weeks.'

It's believed that Fernandez did not actually want to play in the match because he did not feel in the best condition, according to Record.

However, despite only recently returning from Qatar, he was swayed by Schmidt and Rui Costa to play.

Graham Potter's Chelsea are keen to sign midfielders and Fernandez is their top target

Graham Potter's Chelsea are keen to sign midfielders and Fernandez is their top target

Speaking ahead of his side's league trip to Braga on Friday, Schmidt had also revealed that his most talented stars will always be at risk of being sold once the transfer window opens on January 1

Benfica have insisted all along they do not wish to sell Fernandez during the January window and have also offered him an improved contract, but they recognise the World Cup winner’s head has been turned by the attraction of moving to London in a lucrative deal.

Liverpool, whose priority is Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, Manchester United and Newcastle also rate Fernandez highly but have not made offers. Benfica’s valuation is considered too high.

Fernandez played a pivotal role in Argentina's World Cup triumph and even won the Young Player of the Tournament accolade for his performances.

His team-mates Lionel Messi and Emiliano Martinez won the Player of the Tournament and Golden Glove trophies respectively.

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