Manchester United and Liverpool linked with 'Neymar's boyhood friend'

Manchester United and Liverpool have been linked with Leo Baptistao.

Spanish newspaper AS has reported Manchester United and Liverpool are interested in Leo Baptistao, even claiming the club sent scouts to Spain to watch him in action.

Baptistao plays for Rayo Vallecano, where he has 'filled the void' left by Michu who signed for Swansea in the summer and has set the Premier League alight with his performances.

He played indoor football with Brazilian star Neymar as a youngster, where he came to prominence and eventually earned a professional contract.

So what else can we tell you about him? Here are five facts...

1) Baptistao is a versatile attacker who can play up front or as an attacking midfielder, but his preferred position is as a deep lying forward similar to the role Teddy Sheringham once commanded at United.

2) He was born in Santos in Brazil but holds an Italian passport meaning there would be no work permit complications.

3) Baptistao is 20-years-old but has been at Rayo Vallecano since 16 and has broken into the first team this season after a succession of injuries and illness previously held him back.

4) In 16 La Liga games this season he has six goals and six assists, which included a goal on his debut.

5) He has a contract until 2015, but AS report there is a buyout clause of 8 million Euros.

United also face competition to sign him from Atletico Madrid, who want to bring him on board this coming summer, while Liverpool are also said to be interested.

Watch him scoring for for Rayo earlier this season below...

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