Chelsea chasing £13m signing of Palmeiras star Gabriel Menino

Chelsea chasing £13m signing of Palmeiras star Gabriel Menino

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.

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 in this month's 2-0 win against Gremio in the Copa do Bra

The 2021 Brazilian league season is set to begin on 30 May 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.

'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.'

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