Barcelona have completed the €4.5m signing of forward Gustavo Maia, who was being tracked by Liverpool.
The 19-year-old from Sao Paulo has gone into the Catalans’ B team, according to Diario Sport.
Barca fought off competition from Liverpool and Atletico Madrid for the speedy winger.
In May Tuttomercatoweb claimed that Liverpool were seemingly primed to make their move to sign the player to give their attacking options more depth.
Mundo Deportivo (via Sport Witness) also suggested Liverpool were keen on Mai, but did temper the story with news that Jurgen Klopp would likely be beaten to the player by Barcelona.
“There were higher offers, but he always wanted to play for Barcelona,” Moura said, as cited by 90min.
“He said it even a few years ago in an interview and we saw it well also because his style combines perfectly with that of Barça.
“[Barcelona] came to see him at the São Paulo Cup . He scored three goals and we started to negotiate.
“They did not even intend to close anything now but since there was interest from other clubs such as Atletico Madrid and Liverpool, they hurried up.”
Barca paid a premium
Barca held a €1m deposit on the player, who had yet to play a senior match for the Brazilian side. However they paid an additional €3.5m deal to complete the transfer with competition hotting up.
Maia is unlikely to make it into Barcelona’s first team next season and will more than likely play in their B side in Segunda B.
Maia has impressed for Sao Paulo’s youth sides, as well as the Brazilian Under-16 and Under-17 sides.
He joined Sao Paulo as a 14-year-old and scored 30 goals in 36 appearances during the 2018 calendar year and hit 21 in 2019.