Arsenal are reportedly among a number of European clubs keeping tabs on 17-year-old Kaiky Fernandes, who plays for Brazilian giants Santos.
According to a report from Goal.com Brazil, Premier League giants are tracking the progress and development of Santos’ teenage defender Kaiky Fernandes, along with a few other top clubs in Europe, including AFC Ajax.
Having initially began his football training with Portuaruios, Kaiky switched to the Santos youth academy in 2013 and has since seen a rapid rise through the ranks. Despite being only 17 years of age, the young centre-back made his senior debut for the Brazilian giants earlier this year and has since gone on to feature nine times, chipping in with a goal as well.
A former captain of the Brazil Under-16 national team, Kaiky is held in the highest of regards in his homeland. The teenage central defender has earned plaudits for his personality as well as his ability on the ball, which has now unsurprisingly led to interest in him from top clubs in Europe, including Arsenal.
Arsenal have ramped up their scouting in South America under their current sporting director Edu. Pablo Mari was signed from Brazilian outfit Flamengo last year while the Gunners have also been recently linked with a move for Santos’ striker Kaio Jorge. And now, it seems like 17-year-old Kaiky is the latest player to emerge on their radars.
At 17, the Brazilian is more likely to be seen as one for the future by the North Londoners and would potentially line up for the club’s Under-18 setup or the reserves, much like January signing Omar Rekik, if Arsenal do sign him. However, given how first-team manager Mikel Arteta has not been shy of giving youth an opportunity, a move to Arsenal could certainly be of appeal for Kaiky.
Apart from Arsenal, there is also interest from Dutch giants AFC Ajax. As per the report, both the clubs are currently closely monitoring the 17-year-old’s progress and have sought information about him through the scouts. There have been no offers made to secure his signing so far.
Santos are said to own 70% of Kaiky’s rights, with the player having a contract till the summer of 2023 that includes a hefty release clause worth €70 million. However, the report does add that his transfer value, at the moment, is seen to be around the €10 million mark. Any move to sign him, though, will have to wait until the centre-back turns 18 in January next year. For now, Arsenal continue to monitor his progress closely.