Chelsea are close to signing Oscar from Internacional, while Spurs are interested in Internacional’s Leandro Damiao and Manchester United are trying to bring Lucas Moura to Old Trafford from Sao Paulo. By the end of the transfer window this summer, all three of them could be playing in England.
Here we look at the top five Brazilian players who should move to the Premier League from the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A (Brazilian League).
1. NEYMAR – SANTOS (STRIKER)
Neymar da Silva Santos Junior or commonly known simply as Neymar is the most sought-after player in world football. The 20-year-old born in Sao Paulo plays for the state club and arch rivals Santos and is undoubtedly their most important player. The talented striker made his debut in 2009 as a 17-year-old and since has been the key part of the first team making 186 appearances and scoring 110 goals. The exciting footballer, who has dazzling dribbling skills and clinical finishing, has been capped 18 times by his country and has found back of the net on 9 occasions since making his international debut in 2010. The Brazilian international, who helped Santos in winning the Copa Libertadoers last season, has been linked with many top European clubs over the years, but the forward has stated his intention of staying in his homeland and developing further.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are the Premier League clubs that have confirmed their interested in him in the past. Neymar would be an invaluable addition to any club and would surely excite the fans with his skills and finishing but he won’t come cheap. The Brazilian his highly rated by the Pixies and is valued around £45m by Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A side.
2. LUCAS MOURA – SAO PAULO (MIDFIELDER)
Lucas Rodrigues Moura da Silva known as just Lucas or Lucas Moura is another talented player from Brazil who has attracted interests from many top European clubs over the past year. The 19-year-old plays for his home club Sao Paulo and is their top talent coming through the ranks. Ther versatile midfielder, who can play on the wings or as an attacking playmaker just behind the striker, made his first team debut in 2010 as 17-year-old kid, and since has gone on to make 103 appearances for the Tricolor Paulista scoring 26 goals and assisting in 19. The teenager, who has won the South American Youth Championship in 2011, made his senior team debut in the same year against Scotland. Since his debut he has been a regular part of the national team setup making 15 appearances and scoring the first goal – his only goal for Brazil till date – in the 2-0 win over Argentina.
Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City are interested, but if the reports are to be believed then Manchester United are said to be the favourites in bringing the teenager to the Premier League. Lucas would be a huge addition to the Premier League and Manchester United. The attacking midfielder, who is valued around £25m, is a player who has immense of potential in him and surely one of the stars of the future.
3. OSCAR – INTERNACIONAL (MIDFIELDER)
Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior, who is commonly known as Oscar is another attacking midfielder who has attracted interested from many European clubs in the past year or so. The 20-year-old started off his career at Sao Paulo before moving to Internacional a couple of years back after a court case. Since his move to the Colorados he has been an integral part of their squad making 70 appearances in all competitions, scoring 19 goals and creating 20. The young playmaker, who can play anywhere in the midfield, scored the hat-trick in the 2011 FIFA U-20 Word Cup final win against Portugal and became the first ever player to do so. He made his international debut last year and since then he has earned 6 caps for the senior team. He scored his first ever international goal against Argentina last month.
The versatile midfielder, who is known for his movement and his passing, has been linked with a move to the Premier League this summer with both Chelsea and Tottenham interested. According to some reports in England and Brazil, Chelsea have beaten their London rivals for his signature as they have agreed a fee in the region of £20m with his club. Oscar would no doubt be a great addition to the Premier League and Chelsea alike and the fans would surely be expecting to see a lot of him in the Premier League for many years to come.
4. PAULO HENRIQUE GANSO – SANTOS (MIDFIELDER)
Paulo Henrique Chagas de Lima commonly known as Paulo Henrique Ganso or just Ganso is another playmaker that has been targeted by many top European club in the past few years. The 22-year-old joined Santos in 2005 as a 15-year-old from Paysandu and ever since has been playing for the Pexies. Ganso made his first team debut way back in 2008 as a substitute and since has been wearing the number10 jersey for the club on the regular basis. He has made a total of 157 appearances for Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A side and has found the back of the net 35 times. The 6ft tall attacking playmaker, who has been dubbed as the ‘next Kaka’, made his senior team debut in a friendly match against the USA in 2010 and was also an integral part of 2011 Copa America squad. But some serious long term injuries in the past couple of years has restricted him to being capped just 8 times by his national side.
Ganso, who is reported to be owned by Group DIS, is expected to leave Santos this summer but is set to stay in Brazil for atleast another year. Manchester City and Manchester United have both been linked with him in the past along with some more European clubs, but Internacional are the favourites to sign the £20m rated midfielder this summer. Keeping in mind his creativity and passing skills, Ganso would be an outstanding addition to any team in the Premier League but it doesn’t look like he would be moving to England atleast in the near future.
5. LEANDRO DAMIAO – INTERNACIONAL (STRIKER)
Leandro Damião da Silva dos Santos or simply known as Leandro Damiao is the second striker and the second Internacional player on this list that has attracted interest from many top clubs across Europe by his performances in Brazil. The 22-year-old played youth football for Atletico Tubarao and Atletico Ibirama before moving to the Colorados in 2009. Damiao made his first team debut in 2010 and since has made 115 appearances in all competitions and has found the back of the net 70 times for the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A side. The striker, who guided Internacional to the Copa Libertadores success in 2010, made his international debut last year against Scotland along with Lucas Moura. Since his debut, he has gone on to be capped 9 times by Brazil but has scored just once – in the 1-0 win over Ghana at Craven Cottage.
Both Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool are reported to be interested in signing the inform Brazilian striker as they look to strengthen their forward line. Leandro Damiao started off his career as a midfielder but he is a true finisher and has proven his abilities by scoring regularly in Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, which is said to be one of the most competitive leagues in the world. If the Brazilian does sign for a Premier League club this summer, he would be a great addition and will join the list of star strikers in the league.