Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino had identified the Brazilian as the club’s number one transfer target, and the man to take his team to the next level.
The Saints were said to be preparing a club record bid of £21million, but have put that on hold following comments from the player’s agent, Vinicius Prates.
“At the moment, things have quietened down in Brazil, but we are still waiting for that important call from the Old Continent,” Prates said.
“Southampton have made an approach, but we have decided to wait for a more ambitious club.”
The news will come as a blow to Pochettino, who has spent the summer desperately trying to identify a striker to bring to the club ahead of the new Premier League season.
The club has money to spend, and it is now thought Pochettino may turn his attentions to Roma forward Pablo Osvaldo.
The Argentine born, Italian forward has an outstanding record of 27 Serie A goals in 55 appearances.
One player looking to be heading for the exit doors at St Mary’s is striker Billy Sharp.
Barnsley, Doncaster and Sheffield Wednesday are all looking to sign the 27-year-old on a season-long loan.
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