Brazil's young soccer talent expected to become top European transfer targets
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — European clubs looking for deals in the January transfer window will find future stars in Brazil among the latest generation of soccer talent.
Two of them could soon be among Europe’s best — Real Madrid teenage striker Endrick, who has yet to leave Brazil, and Barcelona target man Vitor Roque. More players are available in the Brazilian market.
Paris Saint-Germain already signed two of them; Sao Paulo defender Lucas Beraldo and Corinthians midfielder Gabriel Moscardo.
Here’s a look at some of the other top young players in the Brazilian league:
The 21-year-old Fluminense striker scored the winning goal for its first Copa Libertadores title in November and reminds fans of a younger Diego Costa — strong core, powerful shots and explosive temper. French club Lyon reportedly offered the Rio de Janeiro club 10 million euros ($11 million) for him, but Fluminense refused. Kennedy sits on the bench for most matches because the starter in the position, Germán Cano, was recently elected the best player in the Americas.
The 20-year-old Cuiaba left back is fast, tall and can cross. He was a starter for most of the season. Often compared to Renan Lodi, Rikelme scored once and had one assist in his latest Brazilian league match. Stats don’t tell it all about the young footballer, though, as he also works as a playmaker. Portugal's Braga reportedly made an offer but it was rejected. Cuiaba says it wants at least 4 million euros to start negotiations for him.
The 21-year-old Red Bull Bragantino striker came from Uruguay's River Plate for 4.8 million euros. Fans saw him struggle during the first half of last year. But then he settled and scored nine goals in 33 matches in the Brazilian league. Compared to Liverpool's Darwin Núñez, Borbas started from the bench for most of the season. Dutch club Feyenoord is reportedly interested in the Brazil-based Uruguayan.
The 20-year-old Flamengo right back finally made fans hopeful they found a replacement for veteran Rafinha, who left the club in 2020. Wesley played 36 matches in the Brazilian league, with one goal and one assist. He has a lot of confidence, speed and intensive marking, like Cafu in his younger days. Local media reports Flamengo wants 10 million to 15 million euros for him.
The 16-year-old Palmeiras midfielder is regarded as one of Brazil’s most promising players for the next number of years — “Little Messi” is his nickname. He wears number 10 in the club’s under-17 team and scores goals just as easily as he assists. PSG and Barcelona are reportedly watching him. He can leave Brazil only after he turns 18 in April 2025.
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