Chelsea target close to Madrid switch

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Chelsea look to have missed out on one of their top transfer targets, with Lucas Moura close to joining Real Madrid, according to

Jose Mourinho's Madrid are reportedly in pole position to sign the Sao Paulo star after the Spanish side loaned money to the Brazilian agent, Wagner Ribeiro, to allow the representative to settle debts.

The La Liga giants are now ready to take advantage of the favour owed to them and sign Lucas, with the assistance of Ribeiro.

The 19-year-old is one of Brazil's hottest prospects, along with Santos star Neymar, and Sao Paulo are keen to keep hold of him for another two years.

But Ribeiro, who was a key figure in facilitating the arrival of Robinho, Julio Baptista and Kaka in Madrid, could give the Bernabeu side the advantage over Chelsea in signing Lucas Moura as well.

The Sao Paulo club are believed to have turned down a €32million offer from Chelsea for the Brazilian international last week, but Madrid have retained an interest in the talented youngster since they missed out on Neymar last year.

Mourinho personally scouted Lucas at the weekend, as Brazil took on Denmark in Hamburg, Germany, and the Madrid coach is thought to be keen on partnering the youngster with Xabi Alonso in the La Liga champions' midfield.

Madrid president Florentino Perez has reportedly met with the player's parents already, and the Spanish club now only needs to agree a fee with Sao Paulo president Juvenal Juvencio.

Chelsea are keen to rejuvenate their side, despite their Champions League victory over Bayern Munich, and have been linked with a number of creative midfielders, including Lucas, Spurs midfielder Luka Modric and Lille winger Eden Hazard.

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