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Juventus make complicated €20 million approach for Chelsea transfer target

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As Chelsea focus efforts on improving the defense via the transfer market, one of our other reported transfer targets, Gabriel Barbosa, edges closer to a move somewhere else. Santos club president Modesto Roma recently revealed that Juventus have made a €20 million offer for the 19-year-old.

"We sent a letter to Wagner [Ribeiro, Gabriel's agent], Valdemir and Lindalva [his parents] with the terms. Santos are now waiting for their position. If they think it's interesting, then we'll go to the next step, including informing Barcelona."

-Modesto Roma; source: Globo Esporte via Goal

Barcelona have the right of first refusal due to the deal that sent Neymar to the Camp Nou in 2013. Along with paying an ever-increasing fee to the club and the player's father, Barça also acquired the right to be informed of any bids made for a couple of promising prospects from Santos academy, including Barbosa.

But a potential transfer would be even less straight-forward than that. Juve's bid is only for the 40% of Gabigol's transfer rights that are owned by the Brazilian club, not for the 40% of the rights owned by the player himself and his family, nor for the 20% that's in the hands of investment group Doyen Sports.

Barbosa's contract has an €18 million release clause for the 40% of transfer rights owned by Santos, with the release clause for his entire rights believed to be around €50 million. As it stands, the player would have to relinquish his share of his own transfer rights to make the move to Italy - or receive the €2 million from the difference between Juve's proposal and the release clause payable to Santos. Neither scenario has convinced Barbosa of making a switch yet.

One of the alternatives would be for Juventus to pay the release clause to the club, and then negotiate the transfer rights owned by Barbosa directly with his family.

Juventus' offer is set to expire by August 1st, but the date is said to be "symbolic" and it could be extended if needed. In the meantime, Barbosa's agents will try to convince Santos to agree to a lower fee than the €18 million release clause (and thus improve the player's share), or ask the Bianconeri to offer improved terms.

Besides the monetary aspect of the transfer weighing against Juventus, there's also the player's wish to play on Spanish or English soil. Barbosa believes that his skill-set would fit well in those countries, but doesn't think that would be the case in Italy.

As for the 20% of transfer rights owned by Doyen Sports, that would be negotiated by Santos after the conclusion of a litigation between both parties.

Previous reports from Brazil claimed that Chelsea had offered €30 million for the entirety of Barbosa's transfer rights, but the offer was reportedly refused by the player at the time, as he was on the verge of signing a new contract with Santos.

There's still time for Chelsea to make a new, improved bid for the left-footed attacker (a quality not in abundance in the squad currently), offering more advantageous financial terms for him while meeting his desire to play for an English club.