Barcelona have stolen a march on Liverpool and Atletico Madrid in the race to sign Sao Paulo youngster Gustavo Maia, according to Spanish news outlet Marca.
The 19-year-old winger hasn’t played for the first-team at the Brazilian giants but is attracting top European attention.
Barcelona now look to have the edge towards signing him after putting down a £900,000 payment to secure his services.
The Catalan giants will need to pay another £3.2 million before July 30th to secure Maia’s services.
Despite not making his first-team debut just yet his performances at youth level have been catching the eye of several top scouts.
Respected Barcelona scout Nilson Moura is reportedly the one who was most impressed with the teenager.
He cited a lethal right foot and his ability to waltz past players as his strongest assets.
Liverpool have a strong history with young players and the club would have relished adding Maia to their ranks.
It now looks as though Barcelona have won the race and it’ll be interesting to see if they take up their option to sign him.
The likes of Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Neco Williams have all enjoyed game time in Jurgen Klopp’s team this season.
Any youngster looking for their next move would surely look at Liverpool as a club where the pathway to the first-team is clear.
It would seem that Maia pushed for the move to Barcelona though and it will be interesting to see what role they have in mind for him.
Liverpool could still pounce if Barca doesn’t decide to meet their deadline.
Given the player’s desire and the scout report in place it seems certain that he is destined for the Nou Camp, however.