Exclusive – Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have joined a host of European clubs competing for the signature of 17-year-old Palmeiras winger Gabriel Veron.
The teenager won the Golden Ball at the Under-17 World Cup last November as he shone in Brazil’s triumph on home soil, attracting interest from Real Madrid and a number of other sides in the process.
Real have made a point out of pursuing young Brazilians in recent years, having already signed Vinícius Júnior, Reinier and Rodrygo in big-money deals, and a source has confirmed to 90min that Los Blancos thought they had done enough to add Veron’s name to that list.
Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Benfica and Juventus have all been in touch with Veron’s representatives, but Real were confident that they had fought off interest from them all. However, now United, City and Chelsea have all joined the race for the talented young wide.
Real’s belief is that English sides are looking to take advantage of a consequence of Brexit as they will be more free to sign players who would otherwise would not have qualified for a work permit, such as these young Brazilians who have very little senior experience.
Out of the three Premier League sides, Real feel as though City are their biggest threat. Pep Guardiola’s side have outstanding contacts in Brazil, which helped them beat several other sides, including Real, to the signature of highly-rated Coritiba right-back Yan Couto in March. and they are well in the race to land Veron as well.
Many in Brazil see Veron, who is named after former Argentinian midfielder Juan Sebastián Verón, as one of the country’s brightest prospects – a reputation which he earned even before his heroics at the World Cup – and it is seen as just a matter of time before he lands a huge move to Europe.
After returning from the tournament last November, Veron was handed his senior debut for Palmeiras. He has made a further three appearances, racking up two goals and an assist, but is yet to start a senior game.
However, due to his enormous reputation in Brazil, Palmeiras are expected to slap a huge price tag on Veron’s head, so any European giants who see him as a potential bargain are likely to be disappointed.
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