Argentina star refuses to comment on speculation as Liverpool and Manchester United up their bids

A number of clubs are interested in signing the midfielder before the January transfer window thanks to his pivotal part in Argentina’s World Cup victory in Qatar.

Jurgen Klopp’s team signed a £50 million agreement with PSV for Cody Gakpo on Boxing Day, beating out United to one transfer.

O Jogo claims that in recent days, Liverpool and Benfica have ‘intensified’ their negotiations regarding a Fernandez transfer.

Liverpool and the midfielder’s entourage have spoken, but according to O Jogo, United are also making a strong push for the Argentina international.

In his contract with Benfica, Fernandez has a €120 million (£106 million) release clause, and last week, rumours in Portugal reported that the club had previously rejected a €100 million (£88.4 million) offer.

The 21-year-old had an extended holiday after Argentina’s World Cup success and arrived in Lisbon on Tuesday.

Fernandez recently responded to a question about his future by saying, “I don’t know about my future or suggestions; that’s what my representative is taking care of.”

“I don’t want to discuss the topic. I’m concentrating on Benfica because we play on Friday.”

Rui Costa, the president of Benfica, indicated earlier this month that Fernandez wouldn’t be traded unless his release clause is exercised.

No player would leave – unless it is due to the clause – which at this time is essential for the squad, he said. “We have the primary objective of having a successful season.”

“What I can guarantee is what I did at the start of the year.  This is an athletic endeavour, not a money-related one. Fortunately, we don’t have any financial issues, therefore we don’t need to sell any gamers.”

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