Chelsea are on the verge of signing Brazil Under-20s star Andrey Santos.
The Blues look to have beaten fellow interested clubs and Premier League rivals Newcastle and Manchester City to the 18-year-old, who is currently playing in Rio de Janeiro for Vasco da Gama.
The teenage midfielder – who is seen as one of Brazil’s brightest prospects and scored eight goals in 38 appearances for his club – is expected to sign for £18million, with agreements close to completion.
The expectation is for the move to go through quickly when the January window opens, alongside other starlet Datro Fofana’s £10.6million deal.
Journalist Fabrizio Romano said: “Chelsea have full verbal agreement in place to sign Brazilian talent Andrey Santos, confirmed — final fee around €20m, personal terms agreed too.
“Chelsea and Vasco will now prepare documents. Born in 2004, Andrey will be part of Chelsea talents project.”
Newcastle had been considered favourites to sign the youngster, but now Chelsea seem to be leading the race.
Blues boss Graham Potter will be looking to build his own squad in the window after inheriting Thomas Tuchel’s squad earlier in the season.
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It’s understood Santos isn’t expected to join the first team squad straight away.
However he is being seen as a potential long-term replacement for midfielder Kante, should the Frenchman opt to leave the club in the summer.
The Blues are set to get their season back underway against Bournemouth on December 27.
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