Reported Chelsea target Paulinho is set to move to Europe this summer, according to Kia Joorabchian, whose company represents the Corinthians midfielder.
The 24-year-old was strongly linked to both Chelsea and Internazionale in the January transfer window but reiterated his desire to remain with the Brazilian club. But Joorabchian has now told TalkSport that Paulinho will join a big European club in the summer.
“Paulinho sees his future in Europe,” he said. “I think he will definitely move in the summer. He’s a very special player. He's a Frank Lampard or Steven Gerrard sort of player, a real box-to-box man.
"He had a lot to do with Corinthians winning the Copa Libertadores and was very much involved in the Club World Cup win against Chelsea. He’s a massive talent.
“He’ll end up at a big club. He’s already been linked to Inter Milan, AC Milan and various clubs in England. Now it’s up to him to decide where he wants to play, whether that’s in England, Italy or Spain.
“He’s got his pick of clubs at the moment. There were a couple of bids in the January transfer window, from both English and Italian clubs, but he decided to stay in Brazil."
Also highly likely to be on Chelsea’s agenda for the summer is Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao. It has been widely reported that Falcao will be on the move at the end of the season, with Manchester City and Real Madrid also thought to be interested.
According to the Daily Star, the prolific Colombian has been told that he can leave the Vicente Calderon in the summer. The tabloid’s assertions appear to come from a recent story in Spanish publication AS that Atletico are already seeking out replacements for Falcao, including Barcelona’s David Villa.
A new name has also been linked to Chelsea in recent speculation, with the Daily Mirror claiming that the Blues are trying to sign young Santos forward Neilton. The 19-year-old has unsurprisingly been dubbed the “new Neymar” by some, in reference to Neilton’s Santos teammate, who is just two years his senior.
The tag came after Neilton rose to fame with a hat trick last month against Palmeiras in the semifinals of the Copa Sao Paulo Under-19 tournament.
There is thought to be a £5 million release clause in his contract, with both Chelsea and Manchester United said to be monitoring the situation.
Chelsea may have to wait to land another of their reported young targets, though. Ajax’s 18-year-old forward Viktor Fischer, believed to be on the radar of many of Europe’s top clubs, has said that he is close to agreeing to a new contract with the Dutch club.
"The negotiations are going quite smoothly and I do expect everything to be sorted out soon,” he told Danish Web site Sporten.dk.
"I don't know when it will happen, but I'm sure it will be over very soon."
Already a full Denmark international, Fischer has scored six goals in his first nine Eredivisie appearances. He is already thought to have been scouted by Chelsea, Manchester United and Internazionale, according to Sky Sports.