Crystal Palace are plotting to sign highly-rated Botafogo striker Matheus Nascimento this summer and hope to complete the deal ahead of other interested clubs.
The Eagles hold an advantage over others because their co-owner John Textor is also a majority shareholder in Botafogo, which is likely to make any deal much easier to complete.
The technical director at the Brazilian club Andre Mazzuco told Lance that the player had been ‘offered’ the chance to continue his development in the Premier League.
However, there is the possibility of him doing the same at Lyon or Belgian club RWD Molenbeek which are also under the ownership of Textor.
Mazzuco went on to say that talks were ‘ongoing’ between the club and Palace’s sporting director Dougie Freedman who is central to the negotiations.
It’s reported that Botafogo are interested in an initial loan deal to aid his development, but a permanent deal could also be on the cards with the player having a €50m (£42m) release clause in his contract.
He’s a brute due to his tall and powerful stature and made his professional debut at the age of 16, becoming the club’s youngest player. He’s since scored eight goals in 45 senior appearances on his way to being named a “huge talent” by scout Jacek Kulig.
Now aged 18, Nascimento is a U20 international for Brazil, but because of his long-haired appearance has been likened to Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani. If he manages to become as prolific as the bushy-haired South American, then Palace would have quite the player on their hands.
The club are insistent that he follows the development plan laid out for him and rejected a £19m bid from an unnamed club last year. However, with just one year remaining on his contract, they don’t want to risk losing him for free.
He would be a great addition to Patrick Vieria’s side and could add even more energy upfront potentially replacing Christian Benteke who the club want to sell.
They could wait until next summer when he could be available for free, but with the two clubs under the same ownership, it’s unlikely that Textor would allow Palace to do that.
The Eagles need to use the advantage they have and secure him now, he’s one of Brazil’s best young talents and would be a great investment for the future.