Chelsea are reportedly close to wrapping up a deal for Vasco da Gama starlet Andrey Santos.
The 18-year-old is believed to have attracted several admirers in Europe after bursting onto the scene for the Brazilian second-tier club in the 2022 season.
Santos had made his first-team debut for Vasco da Gama in the 2021 campaign – his only appearance of the season – but he featured on 36 occasions in all tournaments in 2022.
The teenager – who primarily plays as a central midfielder – scored an impressive eight goals in 33 Serie B appearances for his side, who finished fourth in the table and were promoted to Serie A.
Santos only signed a contract extension with Vasco da Gama in September and will not become a free agent until 2027, but he has been expected to leave amid growing interest in his services.
Newcastle United and Manchester City are said to have been monitoring Santos’s progress, but the Evening Standard claims that Chelsea are set to win the race for his signature.
The report states that the Blues could end up paying a total of £20m to sign the 2004-born midfielder, who will command an upfront fee of £13m and a potential £7m in add-ons.
Santos is understood to have agreed terms on a five-year contract, although he is still waiting to undergo his medical and sign his deal with the West London giants.
However, the Brazil Under-20 international is unlikely to break into the first team straight away and could immediately be loaned out in the January transfer window.
Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly is spearheading a recruitment drive for some of the top young talents in world football, and the Blues are also reported to be on the brink of signing Molde striker David Datro Fofana.
The 20-year-old Ivory Coast international is believed to have already completed his medical ahead of an £8.6m switch, but he could also be sent out on loan over the winter.
Furthermore, Graham Potter‘s side are one of several teams to be credited with an interest in Youssoufa Moukoko, whose contract with Borussia Dortmund expires in the summer.
The 18-year-old, who became the youngest Bundesliga player at the age of 16 years and one day in November 2020, could therefore open talks with foreign clubs over a pre-contract agreement in January.
German outlet BILD have claimed that Moukouko has turned down a yearly salary of €6m (£5.3m) at Dortmund as he holds out for €7m (£6.2m), but the striker has since shot down those rumours.
Potter’s side return to competitive action following the World Cup with a trip to Bournemouth for Tuesday’s Premier League showdown.