Premier League leaders Arsenal have reportedly set their sights on the up-and-coming Flamengo midfielder Matheus Goncalves heading into the summer transfer window.
According to Brazilian journalist Jorge Nicola, the Gunners ‘promise’ to make a bid for the 17-year-old teenage sensation after keeping a keen eye on his development in his homeland.
However, Arsenal are not the only high-profile European club monitoring the youngster’s rise to prominence.
Defending Premier League champions Manchester City have also taken an interest in the prodigious Brazil U18s international, reportedly dispatching scouts to watch him several times.
In addition to fierce domestic competition, Arsenal will have to beat foreign suitors, including Ajax and Benfica, who are ready to add Goncalves to their ever-growing pool of prosperous talents.
Both clubs, known for spotting value in the market before turning uncut diamonds into massive profits, have added the Flamengo whizz-kid to their list of targets, hoping to sell him on for hefty figures in the future.
There’s a catch that may work in favour of Arsenal and Man City as the teenager reportedly has a staggering release clause worth €100 million, which would effectively rule Ajax and Benfica out of the race.
Goncalves has only made 11 first-team appearances for Flamengo, but that hasn’t prevented him from becoming the third-youngest goalscorer for the famous Rio de Janeiro outfit.
Since making his senior debut for ‘Big Mengo’ in October last year, the versatile midfielder has tallied three goals at the highest level, generating plenty of interest from teams across Europe.
Deemed the most talented youngster coming through the club’s youth academy, Goncalves turns 18 in August, meaning he will be eligible to complete a switch to the Premier League in the upcoming transfer window.
After Gabriel Martinelli’s rise to stardom at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal may be hoping to make Goncalves their next big hit coming from Brazil.