Transfer insider Dean Jones has revealed that the Magpies are keeping tabs on the Vasco da Gama defensive midfielder, who has been valued at more than £20m by his club.
Although, the reporter has also stated that Newcastle are not the only team in the race for his signature and has not confirmed whether or not he is a priority target.
Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “I think he is one that they’re looking at. There are quite a few clubs doing that, though.
“It’s the same old situation at Newcastle whereby they have various people with different ideas of the style and type of player that would fit in.
“But, yes, he is one of the names that I’ve been told they have got an eye on.”
The Toon head coach should be excited by this news as Santos is an incredibly talented young player who could be a future star at St. James’ Park if he joins the club in the next transfer window.
In the Serie B this year, the defensive midfielder has caught the eye by bagging seven goals, as well as making an average of 3.9 tackles and interceptions combined per game across his 31 appearances. The 18-year-old has shown that he can chip in at the top end of the pitch whilst consistently winning the ball back for his side defensively.
Football talent scout Jacek Kulig once described him as a “pressing machine” and wrote that he is a “perfect player for a high intensity and pressing team”, which suggests that he would suit Howe’s style of play.
The Magpies boss wants his team to press aggressively to force mistakes out of the opposition high up the pitch and Kulig’s analysis of Santos indicates that he would be a dream player for the ex-Cherries manager to work with.
His statistics in the Serie B show that he is capable of winning possession back on a consistent basis, which illustrates the benefit of his pressing style, and he is strong in physical battles – in spite of his age – with a success rate of 61% in his duels this year.
Therefore, Howe should be excited by the thought of Santos coming in as he has the profile of a player who would be perfect for his system at Newcastle.
At the age of 18, he is also a gem who the coach can work with over the course of a number of years. The Brazilian dynamo would not come in with an instant expectation of being a star in the Premier League and, instead, could be someone Howe develops in the seasons to come, which could be an exciting prospect for the Englishman.