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Liverpool could sign 'the next Neymar' for £51million

Liverpool are being linked with a move for a Brazilian sensation.

By Charles Cornwall

Liverpool are being linked with a move for a Brazilian sensation.
Liverpool are being linked with a move for a Brazilian sensation.
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When the next big thing coming through in Brazil starts to emerge, it does not take long for the player's name to spread far and wide, and for the hype to very quickly take off. It certainly did with Neymar, and has done with plenty of others. With the latest prodigy emerging — a player on the inevitable path to the European game — that hype looks to be justified, as it so often is, with lofty comparisons already beginning to be drawn

Palmeiras forward Endrick has been in the news this week, with Liverpool named among the clubs that are tracking his progress in South America. Barcelona are also among the teams taking a look at him, and the Catalan side have supposedly entered 'behind the scenes' talks for a transfer. They did similarly with Neymar when he signed at the Camp Nou, tracking him and getting ahead of the competition.

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Real Madrid are another team credited with having an interest in Endrick, with the Spanish champions having scoured the Brazilian market extensively recently. After missing out on Neymar, they were not prepared to lose out again in any similar race, and signed Rodyrgo (around £38 from Santos) and Vinicius Junior (for a similar figure, this time from Flamengo) on that basis.

Both of those moves have paid off handsomely and there are other examples too. Manchester City are no strangers to signings from South America, having just bought Julián Álvarez (£14m) from River Plate. They also signed Gabriel Jesus (£27m) directly from Brazil too — from the same club as Endrick.

Endrick Felipe

The reason for a spate of transfer stories around Endrick now is that he turned 16 on Thursday, meaning he is now eligible to sign a first professional contract in Brazil. The usual suspects in England — Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and others — are taking a look as well as Liverpool and clubs in Spain, and no wonder. Endrick has scored 170 goals in 172 youth matches so far and is expected to carry that form into senior football.

Endrick has a €60m (£51m) release clause that is in his contract, which runs until 2025. It seems highly unlikely that he will be staying in South America until then, though. While Liverpool have typically avoided spending big money on largely 'unknown' players ('unknown' in the sense that there is little data available at senior level yet to accurately predict the player's trajectory), there is an argument for branching out.

Harvey Elliott, Fábio Carvalho and others have been brought in successfully for very cheap fees (Bobby Clark and Stefan Bajčetić will hope to follow) and while Endrick would perhaps cost less than his release clause, it would still be a significant investment. What Vinicius, Rodyrgo, Jesus and others have shown, though, is that there is value to be had even with a fairly big price tag — even Neymar at £49m was sold for four times that amount when he moved to PSG.

Liverpool will also see the uptick in price should they pursue Jude Bellingham next summer as expected. A similar four-fold price hike on the £25m Borussia Dortmund paid for him in 2020 is expected to be the fee the Bundesliga side will demand. There is nothing wrong, clearly, with the transfer model that Liverpool have chosen. Elliott, Carvalho and others are low-cost and low-risk gambles that have paid off, and more will follow in their footsteps.


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