Newcastle United are reportedly growing increasingly confident they can win the race to sign Brazilian wonderkid Andrey Santos.
The Magpies hierarchy are pushing forwards with their plans to strengthen the youth ranks at St James Park, with Australian youngster Garang Kuol becoming their latest addition last month. The newly-capped Socceroo forward will move to Tyneside in January and is expected to go out on loan as United look to circumvent work permit regulations.
Newcastle recruitment staff have been hard at work identifying several prospects ever since the PIF-led consortium completed their takeover of the club just over a year ago. The summer months saw the likes of Kilmarnock defender Charlie McArthur and Galway United left-back Alex Murphy both moving to Tyneside.
However, there has also been a conscious effort to lower the average age of Eddie Howe’s first-team squad and add some bright prospects for the United boss to call upon as he looks to deliver on the owners ambitious plans for the future. Combative midfielder Santos is viewed as one of the brightest prospects in Brazil and 90Min have reported Newcastle have been in talks over a possible £20m deal.
The likes of Barcelona, Monaco and Benfica have also been linked with a move for the 18-year-old, who seven goals in 32 appearances in all competitions so far this season. But it is Newcastle that seem to be leading the race for Santos, with the report suggesting ‘lines of communication’ between the Magpies and Vasco da Gama going on since the summer.
One of Santos’ team-mates is also said to have come to the attention of Newcastle’s recruitment staff with 18-year-old star Eguinaldo said to have been the subject of an enquiry from the Magpies.
The versatile forward has scored three goals in 15 appearances for the second-tier club after joining them on a permanent deal from Artsul during the summer.