Just who is this £15m striker that has Kenny and Harry sniffing

The transfer window has barely slammed shut and already the rumour mill is churning out stories about the business of clubs in the January window. One name that is set to see clubs battle it out for his signature is Leandro Damiao, but just who is this Brazilian that the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham are ready to fight for?

Leandro Damiao is a 22 year old Brazilian, currently plying his trade with the conveyor belt of Brazilian talent that is Internacional. He has quietly come to prominence, as a late bloomer he did not feature in any of the Brazilian youth squads and he hasn’t been talked up as a wonder-kid like Neymar, Ganso or Pato. Damiao was facing a life away from the game after he failed to secure a pro contract as a midfielder, however an inspired move saw him try his luck further up the pitch and the young Brazilian has never looked back since.

He burst onto the Brazilian domestic scene in January 2010, and has since been a mainstay for his club, helping them to the 2010 Copa Libertadores crown. He has subsequently earned four caps for Brazil, and his exceptional scoring record of 39 goals in all competitions this season, has seen him coveted by Europe’s top clubs.

Tottenham tried to sign him in the summer, but had a £15 million bid rejected by Internacional, who are said to want to keep him until the end of the Brazilian season. This makes him a prime transfer target for many in the January transfer window, despite the fact that he has only recently signed a new five year deal with Inter.

Current media hype is proclaiming him as the ‘new Ronaldo’ and suggesting that he is the number nine that Brazil have craved for the last few years, and will lead the line for them at the 2014 World Cup. Damiao is extremely strong and can spearhead any attack, leading the line as a target man. He is a dangerous presence in the box, with his clinical finishing resulting in his outstanding goal record. He isn’t your standard Brazilian attacker, actually he’s more in the mould of your typical English centre forward, although he does have a bit of pace about him for his build, and his excellent footwork, trickery and flair are the staples of any great Brazilian player.

It remains to be seen whether Spurs should of gambled and paid up in the summer when there was less interest in the player, as other clubs including Liverpool are now watching him closely and rumoured to be considering a move for Damiao. Spurs ultimately could end up losing out on the player, or paying much more than they might have got him for had they increased their bid over the summer. However, they do have a partnership with Internacional, and this could still give them an initial step up the ladder in any potential dealings. The fact that Sandro is at the club could also encourage Damiao that it is the right move for him. He has said that he is not averse to coming to Europe, but with Europe’s top clubs now coveting his signature, he could have a tough decision to make come January. A potential stumbling block with any potential move to England could be the work permit situation, as his lack of international appearances, would mean he would need to get some sort of special dispensation to get a permit.

Much has been written about the supremely talented Neymar and Ganso who are touted for big money moves, but it is Leandro Damiao that has quietly snuck under the radar, and is likely to be the subject of a big transfer battle come January.

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Where should Leandro Damiao go? Let me know your thoughts below or follow me on Twitter @LaurenRutter for more comment and debate.
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