Santos F.C. starlet Victor Andrade is reportedly attracting interest from a host of top Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, The Mirror understands.
Andrade, whose current contract at the Estádio Vila Belmiro expires next summer, wants to move to Europe as soon as possible in order to boost his chances of playing for Brazil at the 2014 World Cup.
The Brazil youth international, 17, has made it clear he will not sign a new deal with Peixe, making him available for a cut-price fee of less than £2.5 million.
Andrade, the ‘New Neymar,’ made his final decision after consulting his godfather, AC Milan forward Robinho. Smart move.
The 29-year-old, formerly of Santos (2002/05), eventually convinced Andrade to seek pastures new abroad after telling the 17-year-old stories about his time at Real Madrid, Manchester City and AC Milan.
“Quite simply, I would love to play in Europe,” said Andrade. “My godfather Robinho has told me of the great experiences he had at Real Madrid, Manchester City and AC Milan. He told me how it made him a better player because playing in Europe means you must adapt to different styles and systems.
“I think it will be a great education for me. Everybody around the world knows about the strength of the Premier League.
“And many Brazilian players have done well when they have played in England. Players like David Luiz and Oscar at Chelsea and now Paulinho has gone to Tottenham to play
“It is a very exciting prospect for me. My dream is to play for Brazil in the World Cup and I believe that moving to Europe will help me because it will help my all-round game.
“I have no problem with Santos. They have helped me a lot. But I think the time is right for me to experience a change.”
Andrade, who broke into Santos’ first-team at the tender age of 16 last term, has scored three goals in 22 league appearances for Peixe.
The 17-year-old ace is represented by NVA Entertainment Group.
Zouma staying put
AS Saint-Étienne defender Kurt Zouma has ruled out a summer move away from the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard despite reported interest from the likes Anzhi Makhachkala, Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and VfL Wolfsburg, according to Sky Sports.
Zouma, 18, is one of the premier young talents in Europe, having impressed scouts at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey earlier this summer.
Over the past two seasons, the France youth international, who debuted as a 16-year-old on 31 August 2011 against Bordeaux in the Coupe de la Ligue, has made 46 appearances in all competitions for Saint-Étienne.
“There was a lot of noise this summer about a transfer for me,” Zouma told Le Progres.
“I can only say one thing – I will be at St Etienne this season, for sure.”
Zouma, who began his career at Vaulx-en-Velin, scored two goals in 18 Ligue 1 matches for Les Verts last term.