Manchester City Willing To Pay £40m Buy Out Clause For Brazilian Midfielder
Vinicius Junior bid a tearful farewell to the Maracanã on Sunday evening. Turning 18 on July 12 with a reshuffle at the Bernabéu already having seen the resignation of Zinedine Zidane and perhaps still the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo, the young forward is tipped to complete his €45mn move to Real Madrid this summer and will become the latest in a long line of Brazilian prodigies to have battled their way out of poverty in order to cross the Atlantic and contest Europe’s top leagues.
“Fica! Fica!”. “Stay! Stay!” cried thousands of Flamengo fans – understandable considering that the Rio outfit currently stands six points atop the Brasileirão, has advanced to the knockout phases of the Libertadores for the first time since 2010, and poses a genuine threat of putting an end to constant ribbing from rival teams that their club is one that stays “só no cheirinho”. In other words: only gets a sniff of silverware before ultimately bottling out.
This hex can’t be put to bed without keeping their key players however, and with a five-week break coming up for the World Cup, the risk of other members of the squad being kicked off by European suitors remains a health hazard to Flamengo’s title credentials with 20-year-old Lucas Paquetá now strongly rumoured to be following Vinicius Junior to the old continent.
Though there had previously been reports that the likes of Juventus, Milan and Lazio had made their enquiries regarding Paquetá’s availability, as chronicled on this page, leading domestic outlet Esporte Interativo claims that the talented midfielder, who has worked fantastically in tandem with Vinicius Junior in spearheading Flamengo’s impressive attack, could be heading to the Premier League in the coming weeks.
According to EI, Manchester City is prepared to trigger the £40mn release clause required to bring Paquetá - already hyped as a potential star for the Seleção at the 2022 World Cup - to the Etihad, where he would link up with established international compatriots Gabriel Jesus, Danilo and Fernandinho. His contract expiring at the end of next year, Flamengo are presumably eager to cash in on an academy product who has been on their books since the age of eight.