The Catalan club have reportedly paid €7.9million to have first refusal on Victor Andrade and two of his teammates.
The 17-year-old was the latest young player to be handed the moniker “wonder-kid”, after his impressive performances for Santos and the Brazil under-20 team.
Being Brazilian…and young…and from Santos…Andrade was soon being hailed as the “new Neymar”, and when his agents confirmed interest from English clubs, you wondered if he could follow in the footsteps of his godfather Robinho and play on these shores.
Speaking to the Mirror earlier in the year the teenager said, “Quite simply, I would love to play in Europe.
“I think it will be a great education for me. Everybody around the world knows about the strength of the Premier League.”
And yet he also sang the praises of both Italy and Spain – countries his godfather has or continues to grace. And if reports from Marca are to be believed, La Liga may ultimately be his destination, with Barcelona having been given first refusal on Andrade and two of his teammates.
The newspaper claims a €7.9million payment has been made to Santos, allowing the Spanish champions first dibs on Andrade, Gabriel and Giva, with the payment non-refundable but deducted from any future fee should any of the players move to the Nou Camp.
Andrade has previously spoken of his hope of appearing in his home World Cup next summer, and a stay at Santos is surely the best option should he wish for that dream to come true.
And yet in the same interview, he said, “I have no problem with Santos. They have helped me a lot. But I think the time is right for me to experience a change.”
Given the talent currently at the Spanish champions’ disposal, the likelihood of Andrade arriving and breaking through is slim. And with two other players included in the agreement, he could still ultimately follow in Robinho’s footsteps and move to England…provided Barcelona do not want him.
image: © mariosp