Andrey Santos, a Vasco da Gama midfielder, A Brazilian midfield “monster” appears to be heading to the Premier League, and it was Newcastle’s concerns amid a transfer squabble with Chelsea.
Since their respective takeovers, Newcastle and Chelsea have made a point of investing in youth. Last summer, the Blues spent over £40 million on three teenage talents: Gabriel Slonina, Cesare Casadei, and Carney Chukwuemeka.
Meanwhile, the Magpies signed Garang Kuol, an Australian wonderkid. The 18-year-old became Australia’s youngest senior player since Harry Kewell in September. Later, he played for the Socceroos in Qatar.
Newcastle and Chelsea clearly have one eye on the future, and it has been widely reported that they have converged over the same Brazilian talent.
Andrey Santos, 18, of Vasco da Gama, is the man in question, and he was recently dubbed a “monster” by Juninho Pernambucano, a Brazilian set piece specialist.
“Physically, (Santos) is a monster,” Lyon legend Juninho said earlier this year. Juninho played for Santos’ club Vasco da Gama from 1995 to 2001, before returning in 2011 and 2013.
“Without the ball, his participation in the game is complete,” Juninho added. “I’d like to see his GPS because he never stops!” And, technically, he is far superior to the others.
“He’s not going to be better than me; he’s going to be significantly better!” He is a much more well-rounded player. I didn’t play nearly as much when I was 18 as he does now. I’m not ashamed to admit it.”
Chelsea’s claim has been debunked
Chelsea, according to the Evening Standard, are closing in on a January move for the central midfielder. His reported worth is €15 million (approximately £12.5 million).
Other outlets, however, dismissed those claims, claiming that the race is still very much open. Indeed, Barcelona and, more recently, Real Madrid have been linked.
In response to the speculation, Vasco CEO Paulo Bracks issued a public plea in the hopes that Santos will remain in place beyond the winter window.
Santos scored eight goals for Vasco in Brazil’s second division last season. His performances aided the club’s promotion to the top flight, and losing their star midfielder now would be a devastating blow.
“The entire world wants Andrey,” Bracks stated (via ESPN Brazil). “But he’s from Vasco, and he’s got a strong contract with us.”
“He should represent Brazil in the South American Under-20 championships, and I can’t guarantee what will happen to him.”
“[I hope] he stays with us this year in this Serie A project of ours, but he is an athlete who is being very targeted on the market shelf.”
Insider Graeme Bailey has now confirmed to TEAMtalk that Chelsea have “made offers” for Santos.
Will Andrey Santos visit England?
Bailey also stated that a move to England, rather than Spain, appears to be the most likely, and outlined Newcastle’s fears of being pipped at the post.
“Andrey Santos is a player Newcastle have been tracking for a long time,” Bailey said.
“They adore the player, and he checks all the boxes for the type of player they seek.” Young, talented, and dedicated.
“Newcastle has been in talks with Vasco da Gama, but a deal has not been finalized, and they hoped it would be done by now, but fear has allowed others to enter.”
“Both Chelsea and Barcelona have expressed interest, and the former has made offers.”
“It appears that a move to England is very much on the cards, but we don’t know who will get him – both Chelsea and Newcastle are confident of completing the deal.”