Barcelona Catalans have an option to buy
Barcelonahave reached an agreement withSao Paulowhereby they have the first option to signGustavo Maia, but it turns out that they had competition fromAtletico MadridandLiverpoolin the race for his signature.
The 19-year-old is one of the Brazilian club’s up-and-coming players and has not even made his first-team debut, yet his performances at youth level have attracted a lot of interest in his services.
“The one who saw him was a scout fromBarcelona,”Maia‘s agent,Nilson Moura, told MARCA.
“We started talking and there was the possibility of them trying to sign him.
“Andre Cury[Barcelona‘s Brazilian scout] did not participate.
“The negotiation was directly with them.”
On March 20,Sao Paulorevealed thatBarcelonasecured the first option to signMaiafor a fee of one million euros, although the purchase would have to be made before July 30.
At that point,Barcelonawould have to pay another 3.5 million euros.
If they refuse to sign the player, however, they would be unable to recoup the initial one million euros they gave to the Brazilian club.
“They came to see him at the Copa Sao Paulo,”Mouraexplained.
“He scored three goals and we started negotiating.
“They didn’t even want to close anything immediately, but because there was interest from other clubs likeAtletico MadridandLiverpool, they were quicker to do so.”
Mouranotes thatMaia‘s right foot is his best asset.
“He’s good with his left as well, but his strong point is his right,” he added.
Maiais a right-footed left winger, yet his agent believes he is different to some of his compatriots, such asVinicius JuniorandRodrygo Goes.
“He’s different fromViniciusorRodrygo, he has his own style,”Mouraaffirmed.
As for deciding which team to join, it wasMaiawho pushed for the move toBarcelona.
“There were more lucrative offers, but he always wanted to play forBarcelona,”Mourasaid.
“He even said it some years ago in an interview and we saw it as a good idea too, because his style matches perfectly withBarcelona‘s.”
In principle, the agreement betweenBarcelonaandSao Paulocould seeMaiajoin up withQuique Setien‘s side for pre-season training, if theBlaugranaexecute their purchase option.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen,”Mouraadmitted, recognising that the coronavirus pandemic may affect things.
“We have to wait.”