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Manchester United and Chelsea in £38m battle over Brazilian starlets as interest around Europe grows

Manchester United and Chelsea are reportedly set to fight it out in the transfer market with Gabriel Barbosa and Thiago Maia on their radar.

The Brazilian duo are currently on duty at the Olympics in Rio, but had already caught the attention of several top clubs from around Europe with their displays for Santos.

Having established themselves as two of the biggest prospects in their homeland, The Sun now claim that the two Premier League giants are ready to battle one another to land their signatures.

As noted in the report, Leicester City have already lodged a £23m for Gabriel, while Maia has been valued at around £15m. However, the Santos President, Modesto Roma, has insisted that he isn’t in London or Madrid to sell his players, but merely to ‘build relationships’.

Whether that’s with a view of eventually having agreements in place for certain individuals remains to be seen, but the Brazilian outfit certainly would like to keep hold of their two prized assets and oversee their continued development for a while longer yet.

Gabriel, also known as ‘Gabigol’, scored twice against Denmark at the Olympics to inspire his nation to their first win of the tournament earlier this week, while Maia has established himself as a key figure in the Santos midfield, making 44 appearances since his debut in 2014.

Whether or not either player is ready for a move to Europe prior to turning 20 is up for debate, but with interest growing, it’s likely that one of the clubs will make their move and that could ultimately result in Santos being forced to allow their talented youngsters to move on.

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