Whilst a certain Brazilian moving to Barcelona is making the headlines, there are four more mega-deals in the offing for some Samba kings
5. Gabriel Barbosa – Benfica
Gabigol’s departure from Santos has so far been a big failure. He who was once seen as the shining star of Brazilian football has since been forgotten. After failing to succeed at Inter Milan, the forward’s agents thought that sending him to Benfica would be a good idea. It appears that competition in Portugal was even harder for a starting spot, as the Brazilian saw himself being short of opportunities. A loan-move which would lead to his return to Brazilian football is currently being discussed in the press, with Santos among the favorites.
4. Lucas Moura – PSG
Similarly to Gabriel Barbosa, many pundits believe that Lucas Moura chose the wrong European club to launch his career with. After turning down their offer in 2012, Lucas is once again being linked with a transfer to Old Trafford, as Manchester United boss José Mourinho looks to add some blistering pace. The 25-year old has been a bench player throughout the whole season and is clearly out of favor at Paris Saint Germain. Rumor has it that he wants out, in the hunt for extra game-time.
3. Malcom – Bordeaux
Malcom has been the beautiful surprise of French football this season. The Bordeaux man had always shown encouraging signs, but this time around, he has been able to add a higher end product to his already promising individual skills, from close control, to dribbling, to the ability to supply his teammates. Seven goals and four assists in Ligue Un suggest that the Brazil U20 international is having his best campaign in his professional career, as the English press continues to strongly link him with a move to Manchester United.
2. Arthur – Gremio
Grêmio won the Copa Libertadores for the first time since 1995, and a lot of that was certainly due to the magic of deep-lying play-maker, Arthur Melo. The 21-year-old was essential and proved his quality in the biggest games, especially against Botafogo, Barcelona and Lanus, in the knockout phase of the competition.
As a matter of fact, Arthur was voted the best player in the final over the two legs. Barcelona look to Arthur as Xavi Hernandez’s heir. Club directors have already offered the youngster a Barça shirt, pretty much publicly confirming their interest in him. However, whether the Brazilian clubs accept to lower their demands from $55 million, which is the release clause, remains to be seen.
1. Coutinho – Liverpool
Several Brazilians are being linked with a move during this transfer window, but not many would disagree that the saga between Philippe Coutinho and Barcelona is the most important, as it could well be the second most expensive transfer in football history, if a deal was to be agreed. Liverpool do not want to lose their key player in mid-season, especially with the Champions League on the horizon. However, Barça are insisting on going for the Brazilian maestro now, as they intend to use him in La Liga while resting Andrès Iniesta for the crucial ties in the Champions League.