The Premier League giants are locked in a battle with a host of other top European clubs, including Real Madrid, Inter and AC Milan, for the 19-year-old midfielder, with a fee of ?25million expected to be the opening bid.
Head boy: Lucas Rodrigues is one of the most in-demand players in South America
Lucas was named player of the tournament at the recent South American Under 20 Championships, while he's also picked up 10 full international caps, scoring one goal.
And with clubs cranking up their efforts to lure him to Europe ahead of the January transfer window, a Sao Paulo source told talkSport: 'Our idea is not to sell and definitely not in January. We would only be willing to let him go if an irresistible offer comes in.'
Lucas' current deal expires in 2016.