Chelsea ‘chasing £13m signing of Palmeiras star Gabriel Menino – dubbed as the Brazilian Yaya Toure – but Thomas Tuchel faces competition from Tottenham, Juventus and Atletico Madrid’
- Palmeiras are reportedly keen on cashing in on midfield star Gabriel Menino
- The Brazilian club are said to be willing to sell him for £13m due to Covid-19 putting them under financial pressure
- Menino scored for Palmeiras in their Copa do Brasil final win earlier this month
- Chelsea are reportedly keen but they face competition from European rivals
Chelsea have joined the race among European clubs to sign Palmeiras midfield star Gabriel Menino, according to reports in Spain.
The Brazilian club are keen to cash in on the 20-year-old – dubbed the Brazilian Yaya Toure – to help relieve the club of financial problems resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
And according to Mundo Deportivo, the Blues are very interested in signing the box-to-box midfielder, but are set to cause a transfer scramble if they follow up their interest with Tottenham, Atletico Madrid and Juventus also keen on freshening up their squads with his energy.
Chelsea have reportedly joined the race to sign Palmeiras midfield star Gabriel Menino
The 20-year-old box-to-box midfielder has been compared to Yaya Toure (pictured)
The report claims Menino has a £51million release clause in his contract, but that due to the pandemic Palmeiras would be willing to take a £38m hit and let him leave for just £13m.
Menino was a fundamental part of Palmeiras’ side last season, appearing in 27 league matches in between August last year and February, and 54 appearances across all competitions.
His most notable contribution however was scoring one of his four goals of the campaign in this month’s 2-0 win against Gremio in the Copa do Brasil final as the club won the cup for the fourth time in their history.
Thomas Tuchel is reportedly keen and is said to admire his ability to also play at right-back
The 2021 Brazilian league season is set to begin on May 30 and end in early December.
Menino is also able to play at right-back, and clubs including Chelsea are fans of such versatility, but his former coach in his youth career at Guarani, Gustavo Nabinger, was the first man to change his position and make him watch videos of former Manchester City and Barcelona star Toure.
‘I used to work at Guarani and I was the Under-14 and 15s coach. We had an agreement with Morungaba’s ‘Bugrinho’ and they always used to bring us promising players to look at,’ Nabinger told ESPN of his first encounter with Gabriel.
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham and Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus are also potential suitors for Menino
‘Menino came at the end of 2013 to trial as a centre-back and he was quickly approved. But I quickly changed his position, because he was good going forward and getting into the box.
‘He marked well, like he does now, and he was strong for his age but not very tall.
‘He got promoted to a higher age group and trained most of the year. He played 10 games, but was on the bench most of the time. We talked a lot, and I made him watch videos of Yaya Toure.’
Menino (right) scored the second goal in Palmeiras’s 2-0 win over Gremio in the Copa do Brasil final earlier this month