Chelsea have been boosted in their chase for Brazilian teenager Gabriel Barbosa this week, with the international forward denying that he is on the brink of signing a contract extension with Santos.
However, reports carried by Football Italia claim that the Blues could miss out on the exciting attacker, saying that he has his eye on a move to Italian champions Juventus rather than a Champions League-free season at Stamford Bridge.
The 19-year-old is part of the Brazil squad which is aiming for Olympic glory on home soil next month, and Santos recently claimed that the teenager had agreed a contract extension until 2021. However, he told Globe Esporte: “No, there is still no agreement. The president ended up talking, but there is nothing confirmed.
“We are just talking. My parents and my representatives are talking. They have some things to discuss. I have proposals, too, but there’s nothing confirmed yet. I need to talk with my parents and my representatives. We are talking and we are going to resolve it slowly.”
23 goals in 81 appearances for his club have piqued the interest of a number of clubs around Europe, but the youngster’s focus will have to switch away from the transfer market and back to the more short-term concern of the Rio Olympics sooner rather than later, with the expectations of a nation weighing heavy on his team’s shoulders.
Barcelona star Neymar skipped the summer’s Copa America to be available for the tournament, hoping to secure the country’s first ever Olympic gold medal in men’s football. The title remains the only FIFA-organised tournament that the country is yet to win in its proud history as a footballing superpower.
It’s unclear whether the upcoming games are move likely to speed through a move in order to get the speculation out of the way before the tournament, or if any talks will be put on hold until after the final on 20 August, near the very end of the transfer window.
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