Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle battling Barcelona chief Jordi Cruyff for Brazilian wonderkid as agent talks get underway

Andrey Santos

Newcastle are in a transfer tussle with Barcelona for Vasco da Gama ace Andrey Santos and have recently held a meeting with his agent over a transfer, according to a report.

Santos is only 18 years old but is already an important part of Vasco’s midfield. He has played 32 times in all competitions this season, registering an impressive seven goals in that time.

Santos is viewed as one of the leading lights of youth football in Brazil. He currently represents their U20 side and will be hoping to move up to the senior team at some point over the next few years.

This will become more likely if he achieves a transfer to Europe. Wolves were the first Premier League team to be linked with a move for the central midfielder.

They have since dropped their interest and it is now Newcastle who are pushing to bring Santos to England. They first made contact with Vasco over his availability in early September, as did Barcelona.

The Magpies are willing to pay €35million (£30.5m) to capture Santos. Clearly this is a lot of money to spend on a teenager, but this shows just how highly rated he is.

There haven’t been too many updates on Santos in the British press recently. On Friday, though, the Daily Mail confirmed that the wonderkid remains on Newcastle’s radar.

He forms a part of their strategy to future-proof Eddie Howe’s squad. Newcastle have already agreed to bring in teenage attacker Garang Kuol from Central Coast Mariners in January. And they want Santos to follow Guol to St James’ Park.

Andrey Santos update provided

Sport Witness provide the latest on Santos’ potential move to Newcastle, while citing Brazilian outlet Torcedores. They claim Newcastle have held a meeting with the player’s agent, Giuliano Bertolucci, as Magpies chiefs look to win the race for Santos.

Bertolucci has been given the task of sorting a European transfer which is favourable for Santos and Vasco.

While this ‘consultation’ – as the report calls it – puts Newcastle in a good position to agree a deal, Barca are putting up a serious fight.

Their sporting director, Jordi Cruyff, is determined to take the starlet to La Liga. He is working with Andre Cury (Barca’s representative in South America) to fight off Newcastle and obtain Santos’ signature.

Cruyff is attempting to come up with a ‘magic number’ which will get Vasco to accept and result in Santos moving to Camp Nou.

Barca and Newcastle refusing to meet star’s price tag

The report claims this is €40m (£34.8m). But Barca are unwilling to pay this much and Newcastle will only go up to £30.5m, which means some negotiating needs to be done.

Cruyff is waiting for Newcastle to open the bidding in January before he launches Barca’s proposal. It seems Santos’ future is far from being resolved right now.

The midfielder has a big decision on his hands when it comes to his next move. Barca have an illustrious history and can use their huge pull power as a result.

Newcastle never would have been able to compete with Barca for players in previous years. But they now have vast wealth and might be able to offer Santos a more lucrative contract than Barca.

Plus, the Magpies want to get back into European competition for the first time since 2012-13. This would put them a bit closer to Barca in terms of what they can offer Santos.

Meanwhile, a pundit has spoken about Newcastle vs Man Utd on Sunday and he reckons the Red Devils are in for a ‘shock’.