Chelsea Transfer News: Blues Eye Santos Sensation Gabriel Barbosa, Top Rumours

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2016

In this Jan. 21, 2014 photo, Santos' Gabriel Barbosa reacts during a Campeonato Paulista soccer game at Pacaembu stadium, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Santos striker Gabriel Barbosa doesn’t like the comparison, but Brazilians see him as the next Neymar. How’s that for pressure? The 19-year-old Barbosa, who is known universally as “Gabigol,” is ranked as Brazil’s most promising player. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)
Nelson Antoine/Associated Press

Chelsea are pursuing Santos teenage sensation Gabriel Barbosa, who has been dubbed Brazil's "new Neymar," according to reports.

Sebastian Quinn of the Sun reported that a host of clubs are tracking the 19-year-old forward—also known as "Gabigol"—and Tom Olver of Metro said the Blues are "weighing up" an offer for the Brazil under-23 international. 

Barbosa has scored "over 600 goals at youth level," according to Quinn, and made his debut for Peixe at 16. The prodigy netted 21 goals in 56 appearances across all competitions in 2014 and followed it up by claiming 17 strikes in only 47 matches last term.

Brazilian Football League Serie A / 
( Santos Futebol Clube ) -
Gabriel Barbosa Almeida
MB Media/Getty Images

The player has been used primarily as a right-sided attacker in recent months but has the ability to play as a centre-forward or as a winger on either flank. 

Barbosa has a £40 million buyout clause inserted in his current deal with the famous Brazilian club and has claimed it is his "dream" to walk in the footsteps of Neymar and join Barcelona, via Quinn.

Here is a video of the teenager's wonderful ability:

Manchester United and Arsenal are also both reportedly tracking the teenager, according to Quinn. The Red Devils have already sent scouts to watch the winger, as noted by Squawka's Tyrone Webb-McGarthland, who reported that United were expected to lodge a bid for Barbosa in the January transfer window, with Santos "open to a sale."

Prospective transfers will depend on who will be Chelsea's manager next season, and veteran Serie A coach Giovanni Galeone believes JuventusMassimiliano Allegri has been offered the position by owner Roman Abramovich. 

Juventus' coach from Italy Massimiliano Allegri looks on before the Italian Serie A match Juventus vs AS Roma at 'Juventus Stadium' in Turin on January 24, 2016. AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP / GIUSEPPE CACACE        (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE
GIUSEPPE CACACE/Getty Images

Galeone told Italian station Radio Radio that his former player should leave the Old Lady and begin a new adventure in west London (h/t Nick Lustig of Sky Sports):

I think Max will go to Chelsea and will do very well. As one of the five best coaches in the world, he will leave Juventus, it makes no sense to remain still in Italy.

For me, he will leave Italy, and I see him going to England because the proposal offered by Roman Abramovich is really fantastic. 

Allegri is doing incredible things, even if the club failed to buy the players he requested last summer.

EMPOLI, ITALY - NOVEMBER 08: Massimiliano Allegri manager of Juventus FC gives instructions during the Serie A match between Empoli FC and Juventus FC at Stadio Carlo Castellani on November 8, 2015 in Empoli, Italy.  (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Imag
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Allegri managed AC Milan from 2010-2014, and then took over Juventus, leading them to the Serie A title and Champions League final. 

Chelsea will be forced to move quickly to secure a world-class manager after the sacking of Jose Mourinho, with very few top coaches currently available.

Pep Guardiola has opted to switch to Manchester City, and Carlo Ancelotti will replace the Spaniard at Bayern Munich, leaving the marketplace depleted. 

Allegri saw his stock rise last season, as he collected the Serie A championship for the second time as a manager, but Juve faltered at the start of this season, struggling to live up to expectations after their exploits in Europe.

It is debatable whether Allegri has sufficient quality to take over at Stamford Bridge, but the decision will need to be made before the summer in order to allow a new coach to make the essential changes at the club for the new campaign.