Chelsea are on the verge of completing their third winter signing as Todd Boehly looks to make the requisite moves to return to prominence, despite the opening of the transfer market still over a week away.
Having reportedly all-but signed Christopher Nkunku in a lucrative £63m deal from RB Leipzig last week, and clinching a deal for David Datro Fofana from Molde, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has now tweeted that the Blues have won the race for touted starlet Andrey Santos, relaying the exclusive news from Brazilian reporter Lucas Pedrosa.
He said: “Chelsea are now closing in on Andrey Santos deal. Brazilian midfielder born in 2004 is expected to join the club from Vasco da Gama — here we go soon!
“Personal terms are almost agreed, deal at final stages.”
Last month, French outlet Le10 Sport wrote that Chelsea boss Graham Potter was homing in on a €15m (£13m) deal for the 18-year-old, and now the club look set to secure their man, despite interest from the likes of FC Barcelona and Newcastle United to the signing.
The signing of Santos signifies a crystal-clear plan at Stamford Bridge, with an evident onus on targeting the globe’s most prodigious young stars and luring them to west London, opening the dam for a continual torrent of talent at Boehly’s disposal.
Playing a crucial role in Vasco de Gama’s promotion-winning 2022 campaign in the Brazilian Serie B, Santos scored eight goals from 33 league appearances, playing a crucial part despite his inexperience.
And Sofascore recorded his performances at an impressive 7.13 in the division, where he averaged 1.4 shots per game and created four big chances, completing 78% of his passes from his all-encompassing midfield role.
From a defensive standpoint, Santos chipped in with 2.9 tackles and 0.8 interceptions per outing, winning 60% of his total duels and demonstrating an aptitude for rebuffing and quelling opposing forward surges.
His dynamism from the heart of the team bears semblance to former Blues maestro Ramires, with Santos’ compatriot playing an important role for the club across his six-year spell in the Premier League.
Making 251 appearances for Chelsea, the 35-year-old Brazilian scored 34 goals and 25 assists and often proved to be a shining light for his side, a ubiquitous and effective presence.
Winning the Champions League, Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup with the Blues, Ramires revelled in an illustrious career at Stamford Bridge, flourishing with his robust, tenacious approach.
And now Santos, who has earned the nickname “the Brazilian Busquets” offers all the attributes to flourish as a successful pivot in the Premier League, and now the pieces have indeed fallen into place for just that.
Brazilian icon Juninho once claimed that the teenage sensation is a “monster”, continuing to say: “Technically, he’s way above the others. He’s not going to be better than me, he’s going to be much better than me. He is a much more complete player. At 18, I didn’t play half as much as he does, I’m not ashamed to say that.”
With such high praise bolstered by a move to Chelsea, a promising future indeed lies ahead for his precocious youth, and he could soon prosper in blue colours.