Arsenal are contending with top European clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City for the signing of 16-year-old Brazilian prodigy Estevao Willian, famously known as Messinho.

Arsenal are among several top European clubs, including Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City, ‘bidding hard’ for the signature of Brazilian wonderkid, 16-year-old Estevao Willian, widely known as Messinho, according to a report from Spain this weekend.

This intense competition has heightened due to renewed interest from Barcelona.

Messinho, who plays for Palmeiras and has been likened to Lionel Messi, has been making significant waves in Brazil. His performances have not only captivated audiences in his homeland but have also caught the attention of major clubs across Europe.

Arsenal, having scouted the player extensively and maintained close links with his entourage, are now in the thick of the battle to secure his services.

Despite the fierce competition, Barcelona have also emerged as a strong contender.

The Catalan giants have been tracking Messinho for over a year and hold him in high regard. Their sporting director, Deco, is particularly fond of the young talent.

Barcelona’s interest was evident when Messinho and his father were recently given a tour of the club’s facilities, with the player reportedly expressing a preference for a move to the Nou Camp.

Barcelona’s current financial constraints, however, have prevented them from closing the deal. FIFA regulations also state that Messinho cannot move to Europe until he turns 18 in April 2025.

Barcelona and Messinho’s camp, including his agent André Cury, are working closely to facilitate a future move, hoping to negotiate a deal with Palmeiras that involves a small initial payment and the majority of the transfer fee in 2025.

Palmeiras, for their part, are willing to respect Messinho’s decision to join Barcelona but require formal negotiations to proceed.

The Brazilian club is aware of the interest from top Premier League clubs and are open to considering their offers. The only potential hindrance to Barcelona’s plans would be an extravagant offer from another club that could sway Palmeiras.

Sunday’s edition of Mundo Deportivo highlighted the intense competition for Messinho, emphasising that several top clubs in Europe, including Arsenal, are vying for the youngster who is seen as a future Ballon d’Or candidate.

The situation is still developing, with Arsenal and its Premier League rivals making strong bids, adding to the drama of what is becoming a highly sought-after transfer saga.