Before the professional football season kicks off every year in Brazil, there’s one month for youngsters to show their talents to the country.
Copa São Paulo de Juniores, which is a U-20 tournament, had 120 clubs participating in 2017. It started on the 2nd of January and ends on the 25th, which is a holiday for the city’s anniversary.
This is obviously a great place for scouts from all over the world to be, so they can see the best Brazilian prospects at once. And this year Flamengo’s Vinicius Junior is the one in the spotlight. On Sunday night, he scored an injury time winner against Cruzeiro which gave his team a place in the quarter-finals. It was his fourth goal in the tournament.
The player has been really impressive during the matches, especially because he’s a 16-year-old among players up to four years his senior. And according to Catalan newspaper Sport today, Barcelona have already made the first contacts with his entourage.
The club would be trying to get in front of English clubs, who are said to have more money for this kind of deal. Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are the ones mentioned.
Sport compares Vinicius to Neymar, which can’t be a more obvious comparison when speaking of Brazilian young talents. But they claim the player is the biggest prospect in the country.
It’s not a secret that these English clubs send scouts to watch the tournament every year, and several of them continue monitoring the talents. But the player is only 16, and Flamengo are a big club with enough resources to keep him for now.
The talk of a transfer seems a bit premature at the moment, and that’s why Sport makes it clear that Barça plan a long term deal.