Liverpool linked wonderkid Talles Magno has endured a slow start to the year but Vasco da Gama coach Ramon Menezes is determined not to add to the scrutiny surrounding an under-pressure teenager, speaking to Vasco Noticias.
At the age of 18, the next Samba superkid to emerge off the ranks already has some of the biggest clubs in Europe on his trail.
In an era in which Reinier Jesus, Rodrygo Goes, Gabriel Martinelli and Vinicius Jr have made big-money moves long before they even reached adulthood, FootMercato reports that Liverpool and PSG are going head to head for Magno’s signature.
What’s more, the newly-crowned Premier League champions would have to invest £25 million in a teenager who has just a handful of first-team appearances under his belt.
So no wonder then, with a typically demanding Brazilian fanbase expecting Neymar-esque moments of magic, Menezes is determined to protect Magno from criticism.
“Talles will grow, we expect a lot from him. He has already shown that he is a capable, young player. He has recovered from an injury which had stopped him for a long time. We are following a protocol because he knows he is not in a position to do 90 minutes,” Menezes says of a player nicknamed by some ‘the new Neymar’.
“His movement (in the final third) is very interesting. He will have to be very prepared because the opponents will double up on him.
“He will help us a lot. He’s a great player.”
With Jurgen Klopp making it clear that big-money deals for the likes of Kai Havertz just aren’t happening this summer, it seems unlikely that Liverpool will devote a sizeable portion of their budget on a player completely unproven in the senior game.
Then again, as Vinicius and Rodrygo have shown at Real Madrid, sometimes the risk reaps rather spectacular rewards.