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Romano says Man United target has now agreed terms with Chelsea, £27m deal closer

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Manchester United have fallen behind on so many areas in the Glazer era; the stadium, scouting department, their training ground and basically everything else required in modern football.

So it should come as no surprise that, while Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea have made excellent use of the South American market in recent years, the Red Devils‘ pursuit of Aaron Anselmino, Thalys, Franco Mastantuono, Willian Estevao and co feels more like a change in tack brought about by Ineos‘ desire to drag Manchester United into the 21st century.

Boca Juniors teenager Anselmino appears to be a leading target to revolutionise an ageing backline. Thalys is one to watch out for, too, with his Palmeiras team-mate Estevao another who looks destined to cross the Atlantic sooner rather than later.

Perhaps, as early as this summer.

Palmeiras' forward Estevao Willian celebrates after scoring a goal during the Copa Libertadores group stage first leg football match between Brazil...

Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images

Manchester United target nearing Chelsea switch

Fabrizio Romano reports that a Premier League giant have now ‘reached a verbal agreement on personal terms’ with a winger nicknamed Messinho due to his apparent similarities with, well, guess who?

It’s not Man United, however, but Chelsea who appear to be on the verge of adding Estevao to a highly-promising if precocious band of Stamford Bridge starlets.

“Understand Chelsea have reached verbal agreement with Willian Estevao on personal terms,” Fabrizio Romano writes on X. “Told initial bid still to be sent but it will be around 32 million euros plus add-ons, as talks with Palmeiras will follow.

“Nothing done yet but Chelsea remain clear favourites since January.”

The Sun had reported Manchester United’s interest in Estevao as far back as November.

Estevao, whose up front transfer fee lands somewhere in the region of £27 million, will become the latest South American teenager to end up in South London for big money. Chelsea bet big on former Santos duo Angelo Gabriel and Deivid Washington last summer, one year after winning the race for Vasco da Gama’s Andrey Santos.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side also snapped up Kendry Paez despite interest from Old Trafford, and appear to be on the verge of repeating the feat with a teenage forward who only celebrated his 17th birthday a couple of weeks ago.

Premier League rivals reach ‘verbal agreement’

Brazilian reporter Jorge Nicola indicated recently that any club looking to win the race for Estevao may have to stump up an overall package of around 60 million euros. Chelsea’s eventual deal could potentially reach such an eye-watering figure, with all of those add-ons and bonuses included.

“Before even scoring his first goal for Palmeiras, Willian had already received an official proposal,” Nicola explains on his YouTube channel. “Palmeiras will make a decision (soon). The Verdao are convinced that, the more he plays, the more valuable he will be. The idea is even to extend his contract.

“At the end of 2022, PSG offered 40 million euros. Last year, PSG increased this amount to 50 million euros. Now, an English club appears willing to pay 60 million euros.”

Another Samba starlet for Man United fans to keep an eye on, however, is that of Vitor Roque. The Barcelona benchwarmer as a Red Devils target in 2023 – according to his agent – and may be on the move again soon after struggling to establish himself at the Camp Nou.

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