Arsenal are ready to go head-to-head with Juventus over Brazilian starlet, Marquinhos Cipriano, 17. Arsene Wenger is an admirer of the talented youngster and is prepared to meet his £23m release clause.
Current club, Sao Paulo, are determined to hold onto the player but 14 goals in 12 Under-17 matches have brought him to the attention of the Brazilian club. Without a shirt sponsor, the lure of a €30m transfer fee may be too strong to resist.
Both clubs are reported by ESPN Brasil to have spoken with Marquinhos’ representatives as they sound out the player over a move this summer. Arsenal are hampered by the British government’s work permit regulations and would seek to find the player a loan spell in Spain if an application was rejected.
It’s a path they are familiar with having done so for another Brazilian starlet, Wellington Silva, 23, who played for Levante, Alcoyano, Ponteferradina, Murcia and Almeria on loan after signing for Arsenal as a 17 year-old in 2010 from Fluminense. Silva played for Bolton Wanderers during their ill-fated 2015/16 season having gained a work permit last summer.
Wenger is known to be frustrated by these rules which hand Portuguese, Spanish and Italian clubs a big advantage when it comes to signing Brazilian talent.
Both Arsenal and Juventus are confident of prising the youngster away from Sao Paulo this summer but are prepared to be patient with one of Brazilian football’s hottest prospects.
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