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Updated January 6th, 2024 at 09:23 IST

Brazil's young soccer talent expected to become top European transfer targets

Future stars will be found among Brazil's next generation of young football talent by European clubs seeking for deals in the January transfer window.

Reported by: Associated Press Television News
Fluminense
Fluminense's John Kennedy celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Soccer Club World Cup semifinal soccer match between Fluminense FC and Al Ahly FC | Image: AP
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European clubs looking for deals in the January transfer window will find future stars among the latest generation of young soccer talent in Brazil.

Two of them will soon be in Europe — Real Madrid's teenage sensation striker Endrick and Barcelona's target man Vitor Roque. But other players are still available in the Brazilian market.

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Paris Saint-Germain already signed two of them — Sao Paulo defender Lucas Beraldo and Corinthians midfielder Gabriel Moscardo.

Here’s a look at some of the other top young players in the Brazilian league:

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JOHN KENNEDY

The 21-year-old Fluminense striker scored his team's winning goal for its maiden Copa Libertadores title in November and reminds fans of a younger Diego Costa; strong core, powerful shots and explosive temper. Olympique Lyon reportedly offered the Rio de Janeiro club 10 million euros ($10.95 million) for him, but Fluminense refused. Kennedy sits on the bench most matches because his team's starter in the position, Germán Cano, was recently elected the best player in the Americas.

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RIKELME

The 20-year-old Cuiaba left-back is fast, tall and can cross. He was a starter for his team most of the season. Often compared to Renan Lodi, Rikelme scored one goal and had one assist in his latest Brazilian league match. Stats don’t tell it all about the young footballer, though, as he also works as a playmaker. Portugal's Braga has reportedly made an offer for the young defender, but it was rejected. Cuiaba says it wants at least 4 million euros ($4.383 million) to start negotiations for him.

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THIAGO BORBAS

The 21-year-old Red Bull Bragantino striker came from Uruguay's River Plate for 4.8 million euros ($5.23 million). Fans saw him struggle during the first half of last year. But then he settled and scored nine goals in 33 matches in the Brazilian league. Compared to Liverpool's Darwin Núñez, Borba started from the bench most of the season. Feyenoord is reportedly interested in the Brazil-based Uruguayan player.

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WESLEY

The 20-year-old Flamengo right-back finally made fans hopeful they had found a replacement for veteran Rafinha, who left the club in 2020. Wesley played 36 matches in the Brazilian league, with one goal scored and one assist given. He has a lot of confidence, speed and intensive marking, as Cafu in his younger days. Local media reports Flamengo wants between 10 million and 15 million euros ($10.95 million to $16.43 million) for him.

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STÊVÃO

The 16-year-old Palmeiras midfielder is regarded as one of Brazil’s most promising players for the next number of years; “Little Messi” is his nickname. He wears number 10 in the club’s under-17 team and scores goals just as easily as he assists. Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona are reportedly watching him already. He can only leave Brazil after he turns 18 in April 2025.

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Published January 6th, 2024 at 09:23 IST

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