£45m Brazilian Neymar Chelsea's top target

Villas-Boas to overhaul resources at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea are determined to bag £45 million rated Brazilian wonderkid Neymar as they prepare for an exodus of aging stars.

Andre Villas-Boas has been asked by owner Roman Abramovich to oversee a major overhaul of the Stamford Bridge playing resources.

And the Chelsea manager has put the Santos ace at the top of his Christmas wish list.

The 19-year-old striker is the star name that the Blues want to recruit as they prepare for a new golden era.

Neymar is due to play for his club Santos in Sunday’s World Club Championship final against Barcelona in Japan. He scored nine goals in just 15 appearances for Brazil and is one of the hottest properties in world football.

Sources in Brazil claim the youngster will only be sold if one of the pursuing clubs shells out around £45 million, according to the Mirror.

He also spurned interest from European giants Real Madrid.

Neymar scored a wonder goal during the South American champions' 3-1 win over J-League top dogs Kashiwa Reysol.

The right-footed striker, one of the most coveted players outside Europe, avoided a sliding challenge from Kashiwa defender Hidekazu Otani and kicked the ball with his left foot into the top corner.

"It worked very well. It was an excellent goal," said Neymar, in his third year as a professional at Santos, the club where the legendary Pele also plied his trade. "I thought for a moment what I should do. But I decided to shoot right off.

Japanese defender Hiroki Sakai, who matched up against Neymar, said: "You can only stop Neymar by fouling him."

Villas-Boas, whose side drew at Wigan on Saturday, believes he needs five players to propel his side to the titles that the club’s Russian owner demands of domestic and European domination.

He is also keen to reduce the average age of his squad. Villas-Boas accepted transfer requests for Nicolas Anelka and Alex while the futures of veterans Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge are uncertain. 

Chelsea are still favourites to clinch the recruitment of midfielder Cheick Tiote from Newcastle.

The tough-tackling Ivory Coast star is also being tracked by Manchester United and Liverpool.

Villas-Boas is also reviewing his club’s defensive manpower.


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