Barcelona Secure Purchase Option On Brazilian Teenagers

News broke before the weekend that FC Barcelona are interested in signing a pair of teenage pearls from the same club that brought the world Pele and Neymar in Santos.

Namely, they are 18-year-old Kaiky Fernandes – a right-sided central defender rated at $9.2mn, who played 37 games in all competitions in his debut season last year and has stood out for his leadership qualities by captaining one of the Brazil national team’s youth categories – and $11.5mn-valued 17-year-old Angelo Gabriel who is a right winger that became the Copa Libertadores youngest ever scorer in 2021.

Since then, however, developments have progressed rapidly with reports now claiming that the Blaugrana already have secured purchase options on the pair thanks to an administrative error that has its foundations in the problematic $98.5mn coup for Neymar in 2013.

Back then, Barca paid $9mn to have first refusal on three Santos stars – one of whom was Flamengo’s Gabriel Barbosa. In 2016, though, the Peixe sold the striker to Inter Milan for $34mn which was a breach of contract.

Barca took the matter to FIFA, who ordered the Sao Paulo state outfit to pay 10% of that amount as punishment, yet other solutions had to be sought.

Riddled in debt like most Brazilian clubs, Santos feared sanctions that could result in a transfer ban and instead proposed that the Catalans take preferential purchase options on Kaiky and Angelo, as reported by Sport‘s Joaquim Piera late on Monday evening.

Regardless of their poor relationship with Santos, this puts them in good stead to snatch the duo from the grasp of rivals Real Madrid – who bought Rodrygo from the Brasileirao giants in 2018 – and other interested parties across the rest of Europe.

Santos’ financial predicament may mean that they are keen to offload the prodigies soon, and a Barca outfit with their own financial hardships may even be able to pay less than the sums already quoted by German site Transfermarkt.

While Barca have no shortage of wide men after recently signing Ferran Torres from Manchester City, central defense is one area they certainly need to strengthen given the advancing years of Gerard Pique while Ronald Araujo and Eric Garcia progress.