Football

Chelsea transfer target: Lucas Moura

Lucas in action for Brazil. (SkySports)
Lucas in action for Brazil. (SkySports).

GiveMeFootball continues to put the microscope on some of the top transfer targets in January, and today we focus on one of the rising stars of Brazilian football, Lucas Moura.

The 19-year-old attacking midfielder is not expected to arrive in west London before the January transfer window closes on Tuesday, but Chelsea will almost certainly renew their interest in the summer.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Lucas has been regarded as the top target of Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas; the Portuguese tactician has exhausted every avenue in attempting to persuade Sao Paulo to agree to a deal over the last few weeks - so is he worth the hype?

Pros

Lucas has won a series of awards and accolades since breaking into the Sao Paulo team where he features predominantly as a right-sided attacking player, an area that Villas-Boas wants to strengthen.

Chelsea have a good relationship with the South American outfit, having previously acquired young striker Lucas Piazon - who has just turned 18 and has already been identified as a potential star of the future.

With fellow Brazilians David Luiz and Ramires already high-profile stars currently on the books at Stamford Bridge, if Lucas was to make the switch to England, he would have no trouble settling in with the help of compatriots from his homeland, and he can also take reassurances from the fact that the precocious young talent Piazon seems to have made a seamless transition.

Cons

Sources in Brazil have indicated that many of Europe's elite clubs are keeping track of the talented midfielder, with Inter Milan believed to have offered €35million [£29m] for his services.

A few days ago, the same sources put Chelsea's chances of signing Lucas during the January transfer window at "no more than five per cent", part of the reason why the club has decided against making an offer this month.

The Brazilian international and his advisers, who include the influential agent Wagner Ribeiro, have told Sao Paulo that he will remain at the club until the summer, unless any interested party is willing to meet the player's €80million [£66m] release clause written into his current contract.

VERDICT

Chelsea have not always succeeded in landing their targets from Brazilian football, having come close to signing Santos striker Neymar, only for that deal to fall through at the final hour. He is also being courted by Real Madrid and Barcelona, but is now expected to remain in his homeland until 2014.

Despite the breakdown in talks with Neymar, a deal for Lucas appears to be a much more realistic option for Chelsea in the summer, providing they can negotiate a knockdown in price from his inflated valuation, created by that astronomical minimum fee release clause.

But with Brazilian football in a far better financial state than it has been for some time thanks to an influx of investment, and the 2014 World Cup to look forward to, Villas-Boas will face a fight to convince Lucas that his future will be better served abroad, at least in the next two years.

Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League

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