The race to sign Brazilian prodigy Estevao Willian, known as Messinho, is intensifying with Manchester United and Chelsea now in the fray, according to reports from Mundo Deportivo.
The Palmeiras youngster, who has been hailed as the “greatest name in history” due to his admiration for Lionel Messi and his stellar performances, has caught the eye of top European clubs.
At just 16, Messinho has been the subject of interest from high-profile teams including Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and Manchester City.
However, the latest MD report suggest that both United and Chelsea have entered the competition for his signature.
The winger, also referred to simply as Estevao, is protected at Palmeiras by a release clause of €60 million (£52m).
In April, he inked his first professional contract with the Brazilian club, setting a high market value. His agent, Andre Curry, has expressed confidence in Estevao’s potential, even suggesting a future Ballon d’Or win.
Messinho’s talents have been on full display at the Under-17 World Cup in Indonesia, where he has impressed with three goals and four assists in four matches for Brazil.
This performance has only heightened the interest in him.
While Chelsea and Manchester United are keen contenders, Real Madrid made a direct approach to Palmeiras last Wednesday.
Additionally, a representative with connections to both Messinho and Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior has proposed acting as a go-between in negotiations.
Despite the mounting interest, securing a deal for Messinho is not straightforward. He has openly expressed a desire to play for Barcelona, hoping to follow in Messi’s footsteps at the Nou Camp.
PSG has already put forward a bid, initially €40 million (£35m), which was then increased to €50 million (£43m). Nonetheless, Messinho’s preference appears to be a move to Barcelona.
Due to Brazilian regulations, Messinho cannot move abroad until he turns 18. However, a pre-agreement can be made for a transfer upon reaching adulthood, a strategy Real Madrid employed with Endrick, another young talent from Palmeiras.
Despite not having made his senior debut for Palmeiras yet, Estevao’s potential is widely recognized, underscored by a sponsorship deal with Nike when he was just 10 years old.