Man City, Newcastle target due to travel to London after Chelsea agree £17.5m transfer fee

Joe Williams
Chelsea target Andrey Santos goes to head a ball

Premier League side Chelsea have agreed a fee to sign Vasco da Gama midfielder Andrey Santos, according to reports in Brazil.

Santos made his breakthrough season at Vasco this year as they finished third in Brazilian Serie B to earn promotion back to the top flight.

The 18-year-old scored eight goals in 36 matches in all competitions and his form has attracted admiring glances from elsewhere in football.

Santos, who is capped at Brazil under-20 level, has been linked to Manchester City and Newcastle United previously but now seems on the verge of a move to Premier League rivals Chelsea.

He is regarded as one of the best young prospects in Brazil and now Brazilian outlet Globo claims that Chelsea have agreed a €20m (£17.5m) fee to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

There had previously been speculation that a deal would cost any club ‘more than’ £26m with Santos’ recently signed new contract containing a €50m (£43.8m) release clause.

The report adds that Santos is now due to travel to London to complete a medical and sign a contract ahead of a move. It will come as a boost to Chelsea, who could lose midfielders N’Golo Kante and Jorginho on free transfers in the summer.

Chelsea, who sacked Thomas Tuchel earlier in the season, have been struggling in the Premier League with Graham Potter’s side losing four of their last five matches in all competitions before the World Cup break.

And former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy thinks Potter has “shown his inexperience” at Chelsea despite doing brilliant work elsewhere.

“I am a fan of Potter, how can you not be with what he has achieved in the game? I love the way he comes across,” Murphy told talkSPORT. “He’s intelligent, articulate and he is a good football man. But I think more recently he has shown his inexperience of being at a top club and dealing with top players.

“Which is inevitable to a degree, I just think the constant changes in the formation and personnel even within matches is not the way to get the best out of top players. They are playing against teams of lesser quality and making them look better than they should, because of their own inadequacies, not what the other teams are doing.

“You are putting square pegs in round holes at times which is bizarre, overthinking the formation and this is partly because Graham Potter has spent his life overachieving with underachievers. He has had to find ways of tactically outmanoeuvring teams that are better than them and coming up with plans all the time.

“The history of the Premier League tells you that if you want to win and be competitive, then the best teams pretty much stick to one formation and then [make] personnel changes if they are not at it. Those Chelsea players are still more than adequate enough and good enough to play in one formation.

“Let them build some relationships, build some confidence. Every time you are tweaking the team with five or six players and every time you are tweaking the formation, top players get annoyed. They get annoyed.”

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