Chelsea recently reached a verbal agreement with Brazilian giants Palmeiras, with the English side set to pay $71 million for starlet Estêvão. Estêvão, who turned 17 just a month ago, has been heralded as one of the best talents in the world.

The deal includes an initial $37 million transfer fee along with roughly $34 million in add-ons. Not only will it be Palmeiras‘ most lucrative transfer ever, but his transfer is the most expensive ever for anyone under 18 years old.

Estêvão won’t turn 18 until next April, so he won’t be eligible to join Chelsea until April 2025. Chelsea’s swoop follows similar moves for Kendry Paez, Ângelo, Andrey Santos, and more. The urgency of the deal follows a failed coup for Endrick. Chelsea beat out Barça, Arsenal, and more for Estêvão’s services.

“Man, I’m really happy. I think they are watching because of what I’m doing with Palmeiras,” he told ESPN after a win in the Copa Libertadores.

“Today, my mind is 100% Palmeiras, and I’m trying to help Palmeiras as much as possible on the pitch. [Chelsea’s interest] is a consequence of that. God willing, he’s blessing me.”

As part of their Vision 2030 project, Chelsea has prioritized buying out young, promising talent over already-made stars, focusing on South American talents.

Estêvão has exciting future

Estêvão is one of the best players in Brazil, if not in South America. The Palmeiras right winger dominated the Copinha, the national U-20 club tournament, scoring four goals and adding two assists in five appearances.

He’s helped Palmeiras to a Paulistão championship while putting in solid performances in the Copa Libertadores and the Serie A. Scouts frequently compare him to Lionel Messi thanks to his agility, dribbling, and creativity. His unique ability to beat his man on the wing and create shots for others has marked him as one of one.

Estêvão leads an exciting Palmeiras squad favored to win the Copa Libertadores this year. They are looking to make another deep run and contend for their first Libertadores trophy since 2021. The São Paulo side is currently ninth in the Brasileiro.

Chelsea faces tense times

Despite an incredible comeback that saw them ascend from a mid-table spot to vying for European competition, Chelsea still faces a period of chaos without any promise of stopping.

They look sure to secure a top-six spot — they only need a draw at home against Bournemouth. The FA Cup final will determine whether they qualify for the Europa League or Conference League. Regardless, this season has been a period of ups and downs. From overspending and massive losses to top-tier opposition to thrilling rivalry victories, Chelsea has a lot to look back at.

“We were talking this morning as a staff – it’s not enough for us,” Mauricio Pochettino told The Guardian. There is still uncertainty over his future as Chelsea manager. “We’re not going to celebrate and take a picture finishing fifth or sixth and Europe. It’s not enough for the club. It’s not enough for the owners, the sporting directors, or the players.”