Man United make next move in pursuit of Brazilian "phenomenon" - he's only 16
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Man United have joined the hotly-contested race to sign Brazil starlet Endrick, according to new reports.
The 16-year-old forward - who only signed his first professional contract with Palmeiras earlier this year - has already earned comparisons to Neymar, who also quickly rose through the domestic system in Brazil.
Gunners forward and Brazil star Gabriel Jesus called the striker a "phenomenon". He told ESPN earlier this month (quotes via 90min): "I've been following Endrick a lot. During the time I was training at the academy [at Palmeiras], when I was coming back from injury, Ze Roberto introduced us.
"Then I saw him on the field...Wow, he's a star. Phenomenon! He's 16 now, right? When I was 15, I was in the academy. But he's in the seniors."
There is likely to be a huge bidding war for his services when he is eligible to switch clubs in July 2024. Endrick is not legally allowed to move to a club outside Brazil until he turns 18.
That hasn't stopped teams preparing their pitches to sign him well ahead of time. And now it appears that Man United are the latest club to track the wonderkid.
Man United interested in Endrick
Brazilian journalist Caio Carrieri has reported that Manchester United have 'intensified observation' of the young striker.
Furthermore, they will send scouts to 'evaluate' Endrick in the 'largest number of Palmeiras games', ahead of a potential move in just over 18 months' time.
Informação:— Caio Carrieri (@caiocarrieri) October 20, 2022
Manchester United intensifica observação de Endrick.
Orientação no clube é para scout no Brasil ir ao maior número de jogos do Palmeiras e avaliar, in loco, o desenvolvimento do garoto.
Observador do United já esteve na estreia da promessa, contra o Coritiba.
The 16-year-old has now made his senior debut for Palmeiras, and top clubs will be interested to see how he develops. But the Brazilian certainly has plenty of time on his side.
He could follow the path trodden by Neymar. The 30-year-old made his professional debut for Santos at 17, before moving to Europe and Barcelona in 2013 - at the age of 21.
Endrick may elect to stay in Brazil beyond the age of 18, when he is allowed to leave the country, in order to gain more experience first, before breaking into the major European leagues. But it appears clubs are keen to convince him to move as early as possible.