Barcelona have reportedly identified Botafogo starlet Matheus Fernandes as a target following Real Madrid’s acquisition of Dani Ceballos.
Spanish publication Don Balon have reported that Barcelona are moving on from their failure to land Real Betis starlet Dani Ceballos. The Catalan club have now turned their attention towards 19-year-old Brazilian prodigy Matheus Fernandes, and are set to make a move for the Botafogo midfielder.
Matheus Fernandes is a 19-year-old midfielder who progressed through the ranks at Botafogo before making the senior grade in 2016. The player, though, has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign this season, having established himself as a regular in the club’s senior side.
This season, Fernandes has made 20 appearances across all competitions for Botafogo and although he is yet to find the back of the net, the player has impressed with his passing abilities, technical skills and composure.
Barcelona está acompanhando de perto o meio campo Matheus Fernandes, jogador de 19 anos destaque do Botafogo.
— Na Redonda (@FutNaRedonda) July 11, 2017
So much so, that his manager Jair Ventura has gone on to state that the youngster is ready for European football. And Fernandes could well be on his way to Europe soon if one club succeeds in their pursuit of the 19-year-old.
Barcelona have been following the player’s progress for a long time now, and have made few attempts to sign him previously as well, as per the report. But with Ernesto Valverde – a huge admirer of the youngster’s talents – taking charge at Camp Nou, the Catalan club are set to step up their pursuit of the player.
The Blaugrana’s interest in the player comes in the wake of their failure to sign Dani Ceballos from Real Betis, with the Spaniard choosing to join Real Madrid instead. And as midfield continues to remain a concern for the Barcelona boss, he has set his sights on Fernandes as a viable target.
Indeed, his passing abilities make him an ideal fit in the style of play that Valverde has implemented during his managerial career. And at 19, the player could potentially be a long-term solution at the heart of midfield for the Catalan club.
However, Barcelona face a stumbling block in their pursuit of Fernandes, with Botafogo holding out for €35 million to relinquish the player’s services.
It is believed, though, that the La Liga heavyweights could be open to spending the aforementioned amount to secure the player’s services and it now remains to be seen if the move sees the light of the day.