Report: Barcelona looking to beat Chelsea in Gabriel Moscardo race
Barcelona have reportedly moved ahead of Chelsea in the race to sign Corinthians teenager Gabriel Moscardo.
Chelsea have delved into the Brazilian market on numerous occasions to recruit young talent since the arrival of co-owner Todd Boehly, signing the likes of Andrey Santos, Deivid Washington and Angelo Gabriel.
After luring both Washington and Gabriel from Santos this summer, the West Londoners were allegedly keen to sign Moscardo, but a move to Stamford Bridge ultimately failed to materialise.
A recent report claims that Chelsea remain interested in the highly sought-after 18-year-old, who has also attracted interest from fellow Premier League clubs Arsenal and Manchester City.
However, the English trio could face stern competition from Barcelona, as Sport claims that the La Liga champions have identified Moscardo as one of their transfer targets for 2024.
The report adds that Barca have contacted Corinthians and new sporting director Deco has ‘taken advantage of the impasse at Chelsea’ who are said to have already failed with two bids to sign Moscardo.
Chelsea are understood to have seen their latest offer rising to €25m (£21.5m) rejected by Corinthians, who value Moscardo closer to €30m (£25.8m).
Barcelona are said to be interested in strengthening their squad with a new deep-lying midfielder to provide competition for summer signing Oriol Romeu.
It is thought that Corinthians may be forced to cash in on Moscardo, who is under contract until July 2026, at some stage next year in order to balance their books.
Should Corinthians part ways with Moscardo for a fee in excess of €25m, this would represent a club-record sale for the Brazilian giants, with their current record sale standing at €20m that they received from Tottenham Hotspur for former Barca midfielder Paulinho in 2013.
Born in Sao Paulo, Moscardo made his professional debut for Corinthians in June and he has since made a total of 15 first-team appearances including 14 starts.
The 6ft 1in midfielder is also a Brazil Under-23 international and made his debut as a late substitute in a friendly win over Morocco in July.