Newcastle have today been linked with Brazilian star, Victor Andrade, labelled the ‘next Neymar’.
The youngster, who made his professional debut at the tender age of just 16, is considered in Brazil to be the next “big thing”.
However, Santos are yet to tie down Andrade to a long-term deal which has alerted clubs from across Europe.
Often, the most popular destination for highly-rated South American players is Portugal, due to leniency in work permit restrictions, in addition to the obvious benefit of language links. This has been seen in the past at Benfica, and more recently Porto, with the likes of Hulk, James Rodriguez, Falcao and Thiago Silva.
However, the interest in England for Victor is particularly strong as the player qualifies for an EU passport through Portuguese parentage, meaning he does not need a work permit to play for a Premier League club.
Having made 19 appearances for his hometown club last season, scoring three goals in the process, he has built up a list of potential suitors, with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Barcelona supposedly interested in his services.
It’s difficult to imagine Newcastle beating the big clubs to his signature, but it’s certainly interesting to see Newcastle being linked with a player outside of Europe, especially mentioned in the same bracket as the likes of Barcelona and Manchester City.
Andrade recently claimed that he was open to the idea of a move to Europe, and his godfather Robinho had told him about what it was like to play in Spain, England and Italy.
“Quite simply, I would love to play in Europe,” Andrade was quoted by the Daily Mirror.
“My godfather Robinho has told me of the great experiences he had at Real Madrid, Manchester City and AC Milan. He told me how it made him a better player because playing in Europe means you must adapt to different styles and systems.
“I think it will be a great education for me. Everybody around the world knows about the strength of the Premier League.
“I have no problem with Santos. They have helped me a lot. But I think the time is right for me to experience a change.”
Perhaps the only thing Newcastle could offer the lad over these other big sides is a higher chance of immediate first-team football. With our striking deficiencies, I am a firm believer in buying young cover for the first-team instead of experience. We have enough of that in our side, and to have a youngster on the bench would be mutually beneficial for both parties.
Obviously, if this deal were to be pulled off, it would be a massive coup. But its interesting to note Newcastle’s interest anyway.Follow @thespectoview