Manchester United have reportedly become the latest major club to set their sights on Palmeiras and Brazil U17 wonderkid Estevao Willian, who is also being pursued by the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid.
Estevao, who also goes by the name of Messinho, is a 16-year-old attacker who has made great strides since joining Palmeiras from Cruzeiro’s academy in May 2021. The right winger, who can also operate as a left winger or central attacking midfielder, has already been promoted to Palmeiras’ U20 side, and he will be hoping to make his first-team debut in the near future.
Estevao’s exciting displays for Palmeiras U20s have also seen him emerge on the radar of Brazil national team officials. He is currently on international duty at the U17 World Cup, and he is enjoying a brilliant tournament.
Estevao notched three goals and three assists in five matches, helping Brazil to reach the quarter-finals of the competition. They were ultimately knocked out by South American rivals Argentina.
Palmeiras know they have a hugely talented teenager on their hands. Although, they may soon have to let him leave for bigger and better things.
Earlier this year, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain were monitoring his situation. Arsenal have since begun to target different players, but PSG remain on his trail.
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo have now provided an update on the situation. They state that Man Utd can be added to the list of Estevao’s potential suitors, with the starlet firmly on Erik ten Hag’s radar at Old Trafford.
Man Utd recruitment chiefs think Estevao, whom the report labels a Brazilian ‘pearl’, has the potential to become a top-class star in the future.
Man Utd, Chelsea and Real Madrid all in for Brazilian talent
But Man Utd have got some serious work to do to convince him to join their ranks. As with most players, the likes of Madrid and Barca will incredibly hard for Estevao to turn down.
Plus, it seems Madrid are currently at the front of the queue to agree a deal, as they have already made initial contact with Palmeiras.
Despite Estevao’s tender age, he could soon become one of the most expensive players to leave Brazil’s top flight of all time. Palmeiras have managed to tie him down to a three-year contract which includes a massive release clause. Mundo Deportivo claim it is worth €60million (£52m), but sources have confirmed to TEAMtalk that the wide man can actually move for the lower price of £47m. And Palmeiras intend to hold out for that sum in its entirety.
Fans of Man Utd, Chelsea and City will be concerned about their respective teams paying over £45m for a player of Estevao’s age. But the captures of Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo by Madrid have shown that signing a Brazilian talent at a young age can be extremely effective, as they can save you big money in the long run.