Report: Chelsea in pole position to sign 23-year-old Pep Guardiola admires

Chelsea are the favourites to sign Sporting Lisbon’s Matheus Nunes despite interest from up to 20 top clubs in the midfielder, according to Sky Germany.

The 23-year-old has generated a lot of transfer interest after having an excellent season in which he helped Sporting finish second in the Portuguese Liga Bwin.

Nunes even caught the attention of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola during their Champions League round-of-16 tie back last season.

Manchester City won the tie convincingly, but Guardiola described the Portugal international as “one of the best players in world football” (via BT Sport).

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According to Sky Germany, as many as 15 to 20 top European clubs have actively inquired about Nunes’ transfer situation.

The high demand, however, also works against these clubs, including, Chelsea, since the player is said to be valued at €50million (£42.3m).

Nunes’ signing a new five-year deal in 2021 with Sporting is likely a big factor in the hefty price tag.

Interestingly, an earlier report from Portuguese outlet A Bola claimed that Chelsea had been prepared to meet Sporting’s reported asking price.

While not a priority, Thomas Tuchel may soon need a new midfielder with both Jorginho and N’Golo Kante being in the final year of their contracts at Stamford Bridge.

Conor Gallagher, Billy Gilmour, and Ethan Ampadu’s returns certainly provide Tuchel plenty of new options, but given the number of clubs reportedly interested in Nunes, Chelsea may face even more competition to sign him in the future.

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Nunes is known as an exceptional ball progessor, having completed 2.8 dribbles per 90 minutes with over 70 percent success rate in Liga Portugal last term.

He only registered three goals and two assists in the competition, however, which is likely the reason he is often compared to Mateo Kovacic.

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A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.