Man United to rival Chelsea and PSG for Brazilian wonderkid

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Manchester United have entered the fray in the battle to sign Santos’ midfield star Thiago Maia, according to reports.

The Red Devils are believed to have been impressed by the 19-year-old holding midfielder, who has shone for the Brazilian giants on their way to finishing second in Serie A this season.

Maia came to further prominence this summer, as part of the Brazil side which won Men’s Olympic Football gold at the Maracana.

After making his senior debut aged just 17, Maia has now racked up over 80 appearances for Santos, becoming a first-team mainstay in the last two seasons.

United will have to rival Chelsea and PSG for the midfielder’s signature however, with the French side deemed favourites according to the press.

Les Parisiens’ string of Brazilians already at the Parc des Princes, including internationals Maxwell, Thiago Silva and Lucas Moura is believed to be a major asset in swaying Maia’s decision.

Italian outlet Calciomercato claim that Juventus were also interested, but have been priced out by Santos’ £17m asking price.

That’s a fee PSG are ready to pay, so it appears United and Chelsea will have to move fast.

Jose Mourinho may be able to call on a host of talented youngsters at Old Trafford, but none are central midfielders of Maia’s ilk.

With Michael Carrick set to be offered a new contract at the Theatre of Dreams, Mourinho may hope that the former England international could teach Maia a thing or two to enhance his progress.

United’s draw with Arsenal on Saturday left the 13-time Premier League champions at 33/1 shots for this year’s title, with Chelsea’s win at Middlesbrough moving them into 13/5 second favourites.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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