‘What might have been’ for Chelsea as Real Madrid chief masterminds Blues downfall in striker chase

Endrick, Palmeiras, October 2022

Chelsea had ‘confidence’ they could land Palmeiras’ Endrick, but Real Madrid have won the race for him – and TEAMtalk has been told the Spanish giants are ‘more excited’ about him than they were over Vinicius Junior.

Chelsea have been rivalling Real and Paris Saint-Germain for the 16-year-old striker in recent months. But ultimately it was Carlo Ancelotti’s side who emerged victorious in negotiations.

On Thursday, Fabrizio Romano revealed Real had come to a full agreement with Palmeiras for Endrick’s transfer. They will pay the Brazilian outfit €60million (currently £51.4m), plus €12m (£10.2m) in taxes.

Real, Palmeiras and Endrick will sign the documents in December. But due to his age, the goalscorer will not be able to join Real until July 2024.

TEAMtalk transfer expert Graeme Bailey has provided his information on Endrick and how Real captured one of South America’s biggest talents, leaving Chelsea wondering ‘what might have been’.

“Endrick IS the best teenager in Brazil and most people think he is the best 16-year-old in the world. Despite his age, Real Madrid have already been on his trail since he was 12,” Bailey told TEAMtalk.

Bailey then revealed which Los Blancos official is responsible for helping Real secure Endrick’s signature, leaving Chelsea frustrated.

“That chase has been conducted by Juni Calafat. He was instructed by Florentino Perez some years ago, after they lost out to Barcelona for Neymar, to make sure that never happened again,” Bailey added.

Real Madrid ‘most excited’ about Endrick

“Since then he has masterminded the signings of Vinicius, Rodrygo and Valverde but Endrick is the one they are most excited about.

“I am told that Endrick was not far away from making the Brazil World Cup squad, he is that good and that highly-rated.

“Real have long been of the belief that Endrick would be heading to the Spanish capital, and they think a deal will be agreed before the end of the year.

“Chelsea and PSG both made offers, and they both had confidence they could land him – but Real always believed they were getting him.

“This is one I firmly believe we will look back on in about a decade and think what might have been for Chelsea.”

For now, Endrick will continue his exciting development in his native Brazil. This season, the attacker has managed three goals and one assist in seven Brazilian Serie A appearances.

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