Chelsea last night are understood to have had a £32m bid for midfield maestro Lucas Moura rejected from Sao Paulo, just days after Inter Milan had a bid of £20m declined.
After the early signing of Marko Marin before the season ended, it was obvious Chelsea were keen to strengthen a midfield which had a poor season, Meireles, Malouda and Kalou all underperforming, whilst Essien was injured for the most part of the campaign.
The 19 year-old has established himself as one of Brazil’s hottest properties, and has already won 11 caps for his country, while the club are obviously keen for him to stay put.
Sao Paulo were keeping hush on an exact figure though, telling Italian website www.fcinter08.com that “We did not accept the offer, but of course Chelsea are closest to signing Lucas.”
They also added “Lucas is a big player who will triumph in Europe, but Sao Paulo will only sell him for an enormous offer”
Speculation is rife around who Chelsea will sign, and it is understood Abramovich has given the club a huge balance to sign players, as the recently crowned European champions look to challenge better domestically next season.
Luka Modric may well still be on Chelsea’s radar, and there are a host of strikers being linked with the club since Drogba confirmed he would be leaving the club.
However, the signing of Lucas may well be a huge step for the club, and a huge statement to the rest of Europe, should they snatch him away from the likes of Madrid and Inter Milan.
By Brad Smith