Napoli have beaten the likes of Barcelona, Manchester United and other top European clubs to sign hot prospect Leandrinho from Ponte Preta
Goal have reported that Napoli have snapped up 18-year-old Brazilian prodigy Leandrinho from Ponte Preta. The teenager is a hot prospect and was tailed by many top European sides like Barcelona and Manchester United among others. But, it looks like the Italian side has beaten the other clubs to the winger.
Leandrinho has risen through the ranks at Ponte Preta and managed 9 senior appearances for the side, with 1 goal to his name. But it is at the international level where the winger has made his mark as a prolific and exciting prospect.
The Sao Paulo-born teenager has absolutely blazed through the oppositions for Brazil’s Under-17 side, with 11 goals to his name in just 16 appearances. Squawka have reported that the player was courted by some of the top European sides, who were all vying for his signature.
DONE DEAL: Napoli have signed Leandrinho from Ponte Preta for a fee in the region of €600,000. pic.twitter.com/1hAPPhwB7N
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) January 12, 2017
Leandrinho is represented by Mino Raiola, who represents United super trio Zlatan, Pogba and Mkhitaryan, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the player was linked to Manchester United. Barcelona have always acquired prodigal talents from Latin America and interest in Leandrinho isn’t too much of a surprise either.
The report has also iterated that the player visited both Barcelona and Manchester United in the past year, something which has been confirmed by Raiola.
Leandrinho has signed a four-year deal to move to Napoli in a €600,000 deal, as confirmed by Ponte Preta’s financial director Gustavo Valio, as per the club’s official website.
Valio said (translation taken from Sportal),“ Since the player didn’t want to play for Ponte anymore and opted for the Italian team, we made every effort to ensure that Ponte’s rights were respected. President Vanderlei Pereira and I have been in Italy in person and after lengthy negotiations we have secured the payment which will be paid to Ponte in February.”
Benvenuto Leandrinho #ADL
— AurelioDeLaurentiis (@ADeLaurentiis) January 12, 2017
Napoli supremo Aurelio De Laurentiis himself welcomed the Brazilian winger over to Naples with a tweet on the social media platform.
The move hasn’t exactly gone smoothly with problems involving the compensation, but it all seems settled, with Napoli set to pay the aforementioned sum to Ponte Preta in February, which in Brazilian currency comes to R$ 2 million.
It will be interesting to see if Leandrinho lives up to the billing. And if the Brazilian carries over his international form to Napoli, it would not be too much of a surprise if the elites like Barcelona, Manchester United and others come knocking yet again.