Premier League • England

Chelsea close in on £20m agreement to sign coveted midfielder in January, as Boehly transfer strategy continues

Newcastle target Andrey Santos

Chelsea are confident they will be signing Andrey Santos in the January transfer window, according to a number of reports.

Santos is one of the most in-demand prospects emerging in Brazil at present. Currently playing for Vasco da Gama and his country’s under-20 side, the midfielder has been outlining his significant potential.

Despite only being 18 years old, he has already got 37 appearances under his belt for Vasco da Gama. Consequently, a number of European sides have been taking note.

TEAMtalk was recently told that Chelsea had made offers for Santos. There has also been interest from Newcastle and Barcelona.

But it now appears Chelsea’s efforts have been successful. According to talkSPORT, Santos is “ready to join” the Blues.

A separate report from 90min has also relayed Chelsea’s confidence that they have a deal pretty much in place for Santos in January. In fact, they think they can reach an agreement before December is out.

Any announcement will have to wait until the New Year, though.

The report claims Chelsea will be paying an initial £12million for Santos, but add-ons could take the final price up to £20million.

Chelsea’s pursuit of Santos represents a continuation of a theme that Todd Boehly has been keen to focus on since taking charge of the club.

Indeed, under the new regime, Chelsea have already signed several promising talents for the future. For example, they have brought in Carney Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa, Cesare Casadei from Chelsea, Gabriel Slonina from Chicago Fire and Omari Hutchinson from Arsenal.

Chelsea to nurture talent of Andrey Santos

Soon, Santos could follow suit. It will be the first transfer of his career and therefore his first experience of being a Premier League footballer.

Judging by some of the examples just mentioned, Graham Potter might not throw him into the first team straight away. But Chelsea will be making plans for how they can develop Santos into a player worthy of wearing the blue shirt in the Premier League.

Largely a defensive midfielder who has earned praise for his physicality at a young age, his qualities could be suitable for English football in the years to come.

Chelsea could lose Jorginho and N’Golo Kante in 2023 when their contracts expire. Therefore, they are aware of a need to evolve their midfield for the future.

Perhaps they will need to find someone with a bit more experience than Santos as well, but they are clearly setting themselves up for the long term.

And by beating a club of the pedigree of Barcelona and one of the financial power of Newcastle to his signature, Chelsea are showing they mean business in the transfer market.

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