The recent U-20 South American Championships in Peru provided a platform for up and coming stars of the future to showcase their talents in front of scouts from all over the world, including some of Europe’s leading clubs.
One chief scout in attendance was Chelsea’s Piet de Visser who was running the rule over a number of potential summer transfer targets.
De Visser made his name as the scout who brought Ronaldo to PSV from Cruzeiro back in 1994 and has been at Stamford Bridge since 2005, with owner Roman Abramovich keen to use his eye for talent to take the club forward, with a particular focus on South America.
The main focus for de Visser at this particular tournament was long-term target Neymar. The 19-year-old Santos striker came close to signing for Chelsea in a £25m deal last summer, only for the player to turn down the move and instead opted to prolong his stay in his native Brazil.
Neymar finished the tournament as his countries top scorer with nine goals, leading Brazil to victory in the process, and sparking rumours that Chelsea will renew their interest in the summer.
They are reluctant to meet the £38m release clause in the player’s contract, but are willing to test the water with a maximum bid of £30m reports ESPNsoccernet.
Whilst de Visser’s main priority was to keep tabs on Neymar, two of the Brazilian stars teammates also reportedly caught the attention of the Chelsea scout.
Gremio midfielder Fernando, and Sao Paulo’s Casemiro could become future targets for the Blues with the former also having a minimum fee release clause in his contract thought to be in the region of €10m.
Chelsea fans will be waiting with baited breath for what appears will be a busy summer for manager Carlo Ancelotti in his pursuit to bring exciting young talent to Stamford Bridge in a bid to freshen up his ageing Chelsea squad, starting with a triple South American swoop that could exceed £50million.