Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan lead chase for Santos playmaker

Felipe Anderson has been given the number 10 shirt at the Brazilian club since the departure of Ganso, and has a host of European clubs taking an interest in him, including Tottenham Hotspur.

The 19 year old is another graduate of the highly productive Santos youth academy, which has turned out the likes of Neymar, Diego and Robinho in recent years, and his importance to the Brazilian side has grown since the departure of Ganso.

European sides from all the major leagues have shown an interest in monitoring Anderson's development, but AC Milan now appear the frontrunners after a deal involving a return to Santos for Robinho was mooted.

Anderson is reportedly a similar player to Ganso, who himself was subject to intense speculation about a move to Europe before he eventually plumped for Sao Paulo. The new Santos number ten is every bit as comfortable on the ball and able to pick the killer pass that unlocks defences.

Spurs have been the English club reportedly interested in Anderson, after their previous attempts to bring in a young Brazilian playmaker failed, with Oscar opting for Chelsea in the summer.

The London club are in need of a dynamic playmaker in the final third, with Dempsey and Sigurdsson struggling to settle in the role behind the striker this season. But if Milan are willing to let Robinho return to Brazil then it is more likely Anderson will go to them as part of the deal.

There is currently plenty of political pressure on football clubs in Brazil to hold onto their young stars as the World Cup in 2014 approaches. The centre of much of this has been Neymar, who has been strongly linked with Barcelona and Chelsea throughout the past year or so.

Bringing Robinho back to Brazil ahead of the tournament would be a coup for the Brazilian league, and Santos have been interested in such a move for a while. The main stumbling block so far has been the financial demands of such a transfer, and if the club can use Anderson to make up part of the deal they might have a better chance to sign Robinho.

Milan themselves might be happy to let Robinho go as he has been surplus to requirements at the San Siro this season. The club may also be keen to remove his substantial wages from their bill, with financial issues continuing to trouble the club. If they could pick up an exciting young Brazilian like Anderson and a decent fee in return for Robinho, the move may work out well for all concerned.

image: © jonnyr1

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