Barcelona are reportedly closing in on the signature of Matheus Fernandes after having agreed a transfer fee with Palmeiras for the Brazilian midfielder.
Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo have reported that Matheus Fernandes could be well on his way towards becoming a Barcelona player. The defending La Liga champions have reportedly agreed a fee with Palmeiras for the midfielder, who could be set for a January switch to Spain.
The report credits various Brazilian publications, stating that the likes of ESPN Brazil, GloboEsporte, FOX Sports and many more have all presented the story. The report further adds that the agreed fee includes €7 million upfront with an additional €4 million depending on certain bonuses and clauses.
Matheus Fernandes started his footballing journey at Botafogo and made his senior debut for the Brazilian club in January, 2017. Fernandes went on to make 76 senior appearances for Botafogo, winning Campeonato Carioca in 2018. In January 2019, Palmeiras came in and signed the midfielder.
At Palmeiras, Matheus has played 11 times in the league, with one goal to his name. The midfielder though, does his job well, which is acting as the ball winning midfielder and ensuring continuity in attack. Barcelona could have a need for Matheus in the coming year(s).
The 21-year-old is predominantly a holding midfielder but has been simultaneously played up ahead in central midfield as well. Barcelona do not have many options in holding midfield apart from Sergio Busquets. Frenkie De Jong, Arthur and Arturo Vidal all like to venture forward and Ivan Rakitic is likely to be phased out of the first-team setup by the end of the 2019-20 season.
Even Vidal to an extent is unlikely to be present at the club come the 2020-21 season, which makes the signing of a new midfielder a priority. Riqui Puig has been promoted by new boss Quique Setien and is likely to be used to an extent, should there be no arrivals in January.
The report states that Barcelona had kept an eye on Matheus for close to two years before making the move. Should the La Liga giants agree a deal for the 21-year-old, it will be interesting to see how he fits into the fold at the club, who have already seen Arthur impress in his first season at Barcelona.