Chelsea have reportedly beaten Tottenham Hotpsur to sign the highly-rated Brazilian midfielder Oscar.
The 20-year-old, who plays for native club Internacional, was rumoured to be one of the top transfer targets of new Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas. The north London outfit had launched a club-record offer of around £18mn for the player and was hoping to land him, but the Blues have now hijacked the deal, reports the Daily Mail.
Chelsea have managed to see off competition from their London rivals and their former manager to sign Oscar, who has already earned five senior caps for Brazil and is also part of his country's squad for London 2012.
The report claims that the deal is worth £25mn, while the Telegraph says the fee is around £22mn. Oscar scored 10 goals in the Brasileirao last season and is regarded as one of the best young talents in South America. He will join compatriots Ramires, David Luiz and Lucas Piazon at Stamford Bridge, with Porto forward Hulk remaining another potential signing.
Oscar's arrival will be yet another indication that Chelsea are determined to improve their attacking and creative options, after receiving criticism from pundits and fans for the heavy defensive approach they deployed to win the Champions League last season.
It also seems that the club are looking to rebuild its ranks with a young squad. The European Champions have already signed Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard, 21, German winger Marko Marin, 23, and also had a £16mn bid rejected by Bayer Leverkusen for their forward Andre Schurrle, 21.
Oscar started attracting attention from Europe after scoring a hat-trick in the FIFA U20 World Cup final against Portugal last year. His move to the Chelsea will be a heavy blow to Tottenham and Villas-Boas, who was understood to have identified the midfielder as a key man in his plans for next season. Spurs had also lost a Champions League spot to Chelsea earlier in the summer despite finishing above the Blues in the league, as Roberto Di Matteo's side won the competition last season.
Villas-boas will now hope that he can hold on to want away star Luka Modric, with the player and his agent repeatedly asking for a move away from White Hart Lane, as Real Madrid, Manchester United and also Chelsea remain linked to him.