Estevao Willian could become the best of Brazil's golden generation.

Chelsea want to sign the Brazilian Messi – & he’s three months younger than Luke Littler

Brazil have underachieved at international level since their last World Cup triumph in 2002 – but the Samba boys are producing something of a golden generation on the sly.

You’ll have heard of Endrick by now, the absolute unit with the feet of a ballerina that’s soon off to Real Madrid.

And you’ll have heard of Andre, the midfield enforcer who shone in last year’s Copa Liberatores final and has Tim Vickery imploring Liverpool to lure him to Merseyside.

But the best of the lot could potentially be the boy that shares his name with a GOAT and has Europe’s top clubs finding the right lighting and sending the most alluring pictures of themselves in an effort to woo.

Born in April 2007, Estevao Willian is a forward plays for Palmeiras. Given his propensity to making mincemeat out of opposition defenders, he’s more commonly as Messinho amid the excitement surrounding his talent and the heights he could reach in the future.

The attacker starred in the recent U17 World Cup in Indonesia, scoring three times and providing three assists as Brazil reached the quarter-finals.

The youngster joined Palmeiras in 2021 and made his professional debut for the club in December 2023. But his name has been whispered by professional scouts and avid Football Manager players for much longer.

Why? Because he’s the type of player to build a dynasty around. His directness allied to a snake-whisperer hold over the football produces some jaw-dropping pieces of skill.

Opponents will soon learn to dread facing Messinho, feeling the ache of their limbs and bruising of their ego before even taking the field.

There’s a reason Nike signed him up as a 10-year-old. Messinho is the future.

“He plays like Messi,” his agent Andre Curry said in an interview with with us at AS in August. “The truth is he wants to get rid of the nickname. His name is Estevao.

“One time he arrived at Palmeiras’ training centre with his father, and the person at the gate asked me about them. I answered by saying he was Estevao’s father. They then came up with ‘Messinho’.”

With footwork more bewitching than the entire Harry Potter series, and the cojones to accompany it, interest has poured in from Arsenal, PSG, Barcelona and Chelsea.

Coincidentally, he shares an agent with Vitor Roque, who will join Barcelona in 2024. Additionally, the arrival of Deco to Barcelona’s sporting direction is a factor to consider when approaching these types of operations.

“I watch almost every Barcelona game; I am a fan of the club,” Estevao admitted in an interview with Mundo Deportivo. “I have great admiration for the players who play there, and I hope to be there too.

“Playing for Barcelona, which is one of the best clubs in the world, is my dream. I was born watching Neymar, Messi, and Suarez play for Barcelona, and that’s the dream I have.”

But Barcelona’s financial problems have left the door ajar for other suitors, with Todd Boehly eagerly hitching his skirt and planning to make Messinho an unbeatable offer.

According to Goal, Chelsea have entered talks with Palmeiras. Messinho’s release clause is set at €45million but Chelsea would prefer to pay a fixed fee of €20m, plus €20m in variables.

Messinho wouldn’t be able to join until 2025 though due to the same rule that has prevented Endrick’s immediate transfer, with rules stating players can’t be transferred until turning 18.

But he’s almost certainly worth the punt – & signing him could be the best accomplishment of Boehly’s career at Stamford Bridge.

By Michael Lee

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