Newcastle United now seem to have the upper hand in Barcelona for the signing of Brazilian Andrey Santos, and they could soon pull it off.
While he is just 18 years of age, Santos is already rated very highly in Brazil. That is despite the fact that he has played just 37 games of senior football.
However, he has impressed during those outings.
The midfielder has bagged eight goals in 33 Serie B games in 2022. That tally is clearly a good one for a player is just starting out his senior career.
He has become the subject of international interest thanks to his impact for Vasco de Gama.
Indeed, of late, there has been a lot of speculation regarding potential moves to Newcastle and Barcelona.
A transfer to Europe would give him a great platform to succeed, as it has with many Brazilians.
It has looked for a little while as if there will be a battle between the two sides to land the youngster. Indeed, both are willing to pay north of £30million to acquire his services.
Newcastle take the lead in Andrey Santos pursuit
However, it seems Newcastle have now taken the lead over Barcelona in the pursuit of Santos.
Spanish outlet Sport reports Barca are ‘postponing’ their pursuit ‘at least’ until next summer. That is because they need ‘more time’ and ‘financial capacity’ to land the midfielder.
While waiting until then could give them the opportunity to do so, it may also hinder them.
Indeed, the report also states that Newcastle will ‘bid hard’ for him. As such, by the summer, he might have already been snapped up by the Magpies.
That is, of course, if the English side pursue him in January – beating Barcelona to a transfer in any scenario would be a statement. If not, the battle could commence once again when the summer window opens.
Santos appears top Newcastle signing
Newcastle are in a great position at the moment. They are third in the Premier League, and only two points behind Manchester City, though the Magpies have played a game more.
They have recruited well since their takeover by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
Bruno Guimaraes has been one of the standout performers since the takeover. There are similarities between Guimaraes and Santos, the obvious ones being that they are both Brazilian midfielders.
That he has been compared to the Magpies man will be one of the reasons Newcastle are so keen.
If he were to have a similar impact to his compatriot, he would be a very good signing indeed.