There was a time when Brazilians going to play in Ukraine was looked upon as a bit of a joke. When it comes to Brazilian national team selections, it still might be. But there's no denying that some of the talent that's been nurtured at Shakhtar Donetsk has been rather impressive.
We all know Willian of course, whose right foot turns out to be more magical than a magic hat from free kicks, and Douglas Costa, who was almost a Chelsea player before going to Bayern instead and becoming their brightest attacking star. The third man is Alex Teixeira, and all he's done is score at a goal-per-game pace this season, 23 goals in 23 matches, in all competitions, including two against Real Madrid in Wednesday's 4-3 loss.
Ahead of that match, Teixeira was quizzed on the swirling transfer rumors, most of which include Chelsea. Unlike some of his previous quotes on the matter, this time he played a bit more coy.
"All I can do is talk on the field and it is clear that a game against Madrid is a great opportunity to do so. I know there are teams interested, but I should prefer not to [feed these rumors]."
-Alex Teixeira; source: Marca via Google Translate
A slight change of tact from the 25-year-old who had once claimed that Chelsea had already tabled an offer. Maybe his agent told him to play it a bit cool, to ensure that whoever ends up buying him, does end up paying the full rumored asked price of around €25-30m (with wages to match, no doubt).
The one trouble with the Teixeira rumors is that even though Chelsea seem to be very much in the market for a striker, he's not really one. That he's managed to set such a tremendous goal-scoring pace from his slightly deeper, central attacking midfielder position does make it more impressive, but that's not exactly what we're supposedly looking for as priority number one.