Chelsea hope to see off Premier League rivals Liverpool to the signing of Porto’s Reuben Neves after setting the player a deadline to decide on a move to Stamford Bridge, reports on Sunday claim.
The 19-year-old midfielder has made a flying start to the season in Portugal with a growing number of clubs keen on signing the starlet. Arsenal have previously been linked with him, but it is Liverpool with whom he is most often linked.
However, reports in Portugal – and as reported in the Sunday Mirror – claim Chelsea have now entered the race to sign him – and hope to steal a march on their rivals.
They are willing to offer around £24million plus a player with add-ons to follow for the £35m-rated player.
But they want an answer from him one way or the other by the first week of November over whether he will join them in January.
According to reports in Italy, Juventus are also said to be interested and have been tracking the teenager since 2014. They are reportedly willing to match any Chelsea offer for the player.
The Bianconeri are in need of midfield reinforcements following the departures of Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba over the last 18 months, while Claudio Marchisio is only just returning from a serious knee injury.
Porto on Neves
Club president Pinto da Costa said last year: “Ruben has a contract until 2019 and not until 2017, as sometimes I see in reports.
“And we would like to keep him at FC Porto, as a kind of Joao Pinto. That is, he was a symbol and legend of the progress of the club for several generations.
“I never want him to leave Porto. Since I want him to stay for a long time he can be Porto’s greatest captain.”