Barcelona are looking to trump Chelsea in the pursuit of Brazilian sensation Endrick and have already spoken to the youngster and his family.
The 16-year-old has been turning heads with his displays for the Palmeiras youth teams. The talented youngster bagged 165 goals from 169 appearances and is now involved with the senior side. Despite his tender years, the striker has already scored three goals from seven appearances for Periquito Verde.
Unsurprisingly, a number of European clubs have been made aware of the starlet’s prowess.
Chelsea seemed to jump the gun and used a special weapon to try to entice him to Stamford Bridge.
Thiago Silva is said to have been among the party showing Endrick and his entourage around the club.
The Blues defender is a legend in his country and someone that young Brazilian players look up to.
And it appeared to have done the trick. A report earlier this month suggested Chelsea were leading the race for the superstar.
The west Londoners seem ready to match any bid from a rival and are said to have guaranteed they will fast-track him into the first team.
Whether that is true is open to debate but most things point towards the capital outfit.
But that might all have changed after Xavi revealed that Barca are now muscling in on the action. And they have already held dialogue with the South American.
“[We] have been talking with his [Endrick’s] father and also directly with the player too,” he told ESPN. “I explained the project at Barcelona.
“We want talented players, and he is a talent, capable of making [the] difference.”
Endrick ticks all the right boxes
Barcelona are now back in business and top the LaLiga standings after finishing second last season.
Their financial troubles have been well documented but there now seems money available for new faces.
In addition to the Catalans, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have also shown an interest.
Indeed, it has been reported that PSG have already had two bids rejected. The Ligue 1 giants are said to have been knocked back with their latest offer of €45m.
Palmeiras are holding out for €60m and might well get that from Chelsea.
Xavi clearly wants him at the Nou Camp, and believes the teenager is already able to make a difference.
“He has the great finishing, dribbling and a capacity to make a difference on the pitch,” he added. “He is a player already of the present – playing in the Brazilian league – and also the future.”
Xavi admits Endrick holds all the aces
Chelsea have slumped in recent times and went into the World Cup break down in eighth place in the Premier League table.
But there is nothing to suggest Graham Potter cannot turn things around. He will be backed by the club’s new owners and that includes money to sign Endrick.
But there is clearly a battle with Barcelona looming as Xavi made no secret of his desire to snare the forward.
“He is the kind of player we need,” he continued. “He already knows the project we have at Barcelona and we are talking.
“I hope he becomes our player. It depends on him. This kind of thing always depends on the player.
“Normally, a player ends up playing where he wants to play, so it is a very personal decision of Endrick.”