Chelsea in pole position to sign 20-year-old versatile midfielder

The London giants are ready to complete the transfer of Gabriel Menino from Palmeiras. Brazil international came through the youth academy of Palmeiras. Gabriel made his breakthrough into the first-team in March last year. Since then, Menino has gone to play 60 games for the club, contributing with four goals and seven assists in the process.

The 20-year-old footballer is primarily a central midfielder by trade. However, over the course of his fledgling career with Palmeiras, the Brazilian midfielder has been used in several positions, having played as a right-back, a right-winger and even as a left midfielder.

Gabriel, on the back of his displays for Palmeiras even received a call-up to the Brazil national team, although he is yet to make his debut for the Selecao. However, it looks like Menino has done enough to earn himself a move to the PL, with the Blues now believed to be ready to complete his signing.

Reports of Chelsea showing interest in Gabriel’s services emerged last month, with La Liga giants Atletico Madrid also said to have been in the race to sign him. Chelsea have a well-stocked midfield unit with the likes of Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Billy Gilmour.

But, Gabriel’s versatility may have played a role in Chelsea’s interest given as he could easily be used as an alternative for Reece James at right wing-back. It was soon claimed that Palmeiras would be open to a sale for a transfer fee of nearly €20m due to their financial problems owing to the pandemic.