Barcelona and Real Madrid are reportedly monitoring FC Porto’s 21-year-old hotshot Fabio Vieira, who is also attracting interest from the Premier League.
According to a report from Catalan publication El Nacional, Barcelona and Real Madrid are set to keep tabs on the progress of FC Porto attacking midfielder Fabio Vieira, who is being heralded as the next big thing in Portuguese football.
A product of the FC Porto youth academy, Vieira has risen through the ranks at an impressive rate before breaking into the first-team last year. To date, the 21-year-old has racked up 41 appearances for the Portuguese giants, scoring three goals and setting up five more. Three of the five assists have come in his four appearances in the new season.
Vieira’s progress over the past year has caught the eye of several Premier League clubs, with Liverpool, in particular, having shown an interest in his services during the summer transfer window. A move, however, never materialised and he ended up staying put at Estadio do Dragao.
However, the 21-year-old attacking midfielder has entered the final year of his contract with FC Porto. Vieira, now, is set to change his representatives and join up with super-agent Jorge Mendes. And even though talks over a new deal are said to be in progress, there could be a chance that Vieira leaves at the end of the season or even in January in case an agreement is not arrived at.
And, as per the aforementioned report, Barcelona and Real Madrid are now said to be keeping tabs on the midfielder’s performances before considering making a move for him.
Barcelona are going through a bit of a crisis situation, with things not looking good under manager Ronald Koeman. The Catalans are severely lacking a creative outlet in the final third and have looked bereft of any clear-cut ideas in the past couple of matches. With Philippe Coutinho struggling to make an impact, adding another attacking midfielder would make sense for Barca.
A move for former academy product, Dani Olmo, has been mooted quite a lot. However, should Vieira’s contract situation at Porto does not reach a resolution, he could be available for no transfer fee, making him an enticing option. But they are likely to face competition from arch-rivals Real Madrid, who are also in the market for a new creative midfielder.
Luka Modric is in the final phase of his career and his contract with the Merengues also runs out next summer. With Isco not finding favour under Carlo Ancelotti either, he could also be on the move in the near future, which would open up a slot for someone like Vieira to come into the squad.
It, however, remains to be seen if Barcelona or Real Madrid do act on their interest in the 21-year-old. For now, both the La Liga giants will keep a close watch on Vieira’s performances.