Chelsea lead Liverpool in the race for Porto’s midfield star



Chelsea to win the Premier League

He’s already become one of the most sought-after teenagers on the continent, but the battle for Porto’s Ruben Neves looks set to reach another level, with Chelsea readying a £24m bid.

In doing so, the Blues would be stealing a march on Liverpool, Valencia and Juventus for the 19-year-old.

Since bursting onto the scene two seasons ago, Neves has been courted by a host of Europe’s biggest clubs, and has already captained the Portuguese giants – becoming the youngest player ever to do so.

Neves also holds a similar record Porto’s Primeira Liga scorer, and is the youngest Portuguese to play in the Champions League too.

Aside from a host of records, the teenager has been capped twice by his country, and can already count upon almost 80 senior appearances for Porto.

His rise has plateaud somewhat this season, with just two league starts, but it’s still little wonder Chelsea are so keen to land the defensive midfielder.

The west Londoners are reportedly ready to pay £24m upfront, plus significant add-ons to reach Porto’s £35m valuation.

It remains to be seen however if Neves would seek a switch so soon, especially to a Chelsea side who aren’t short on central midfielders.

Boss Antonio Conte could already call upon Nemanja Matic and Oscar when he arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer, and further beefed up his options by signing workhorse N’Golo Kante from Leicester.

Plus, with over 35 players out on loan, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Neves was signed by the Blues and promptly farmed out elsewhere – and any temporary destination is unlikely to boast Porto’s stature.

Could that then, open the door for Liverpool to swoop in?

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