Santos president Modesto Roma arrived in London yesterday to step up the negotiations with Chelsea regarding a potential transfer of his club’s prized asset Thiago Maia.

According to a report from Goal, Chelsea have been in discussions with the Brazilian club for a few weeks.

And they are ready to launch a formal bid for the 19-year-old defensive midfielder.

Maia is currently on international duty at the Rio Olympic Games.

Antonio Conte is believed to be keeping tabs on the Brazilian but the hosts have disappointed, only managing goalless draws against South Africa and Iraq.

Despite his youth, Maia has been a regular for Santos over the past two seasons.

He is under contract until 2019 and Chelsea only have to agree on a fee with Santos because the Brazilian club are the sole holders of his economic rights.

New Stamford Bridge boss Conte is on the hunt for new signings but has only added two new faces to his squad this summer – Michy Batshuayi and N’Golo Kante.

Santos chief Roma is expected to leave for Lisbon tomorrow but he is also set to speak to Leicester City about a move for Gabriel Barbosa.

Thiago Maia is an all round defensive midfielder, capable of starting for most top teams and in the rotation for the very best. In my test save Maia has a great physique, fast, strong and fit.

The Brazilian also possess’ great character with good mental attributes and the ability to not only defend but create, pass and shoot from range. Barcelona used the defensive midfielder as a utility man but he can be a star in the right setup.


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