Liverpool and Real Madrid have spent much of the last twelve months battling it out for the best young midfielders in European football, and that is set to be the case again through until next summer at least.
The two have been strongly linked with England midfielder Jude Bellingham, who is the subject of heavy interest. It had been framed as if Enzo Fernandez would be the alternative for Real Madrid should they miss out on Bellingham, but now it has emerged that the Reds have an agreement with Fernandez.
Fernandez arrived to Benfica this summer from River Plate in a deal worth just €18m if all add-ons are completed, and has a release clause of €120m. It is not yet clear how much the fee would be. River have a 25% sell-on clause too.
The 21-year-old is a different style of midfielder from Bellingham, often operating deeper and with less dynamism. He is better known for his precise passing and creativity, whereas Bellingham has far more of relationship with the goal, and is not afraid to take defenders on. If either does sign Fernandez or Bellingham, the construction of their midfield would be entirely different.