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Matheus Fernandes closing in on Barça move

Matheus Fernandes (R) during a game for Botafogo. // ALEXANDRE LOUREIRO/GETTY IMAGES SOUTH AMERICA

Reports coming from Brazil on Tuesday night suggest that Palmeiras midfielder, Matheus Fernandes, is very close to sealing a deal sending him to the Camp Nou.

Barcelona’s actions in January have not just been managerial changes and the departure of Carles Aleñá. Recent reports from several Brazilian news outlets suggest that Barcelona are very close to having a new addition in midfield: the 21-year-old Matheus Fernandes.

Fernandes plays for Palmieras, whom he joined in January of last year, when he made the switch from Botafogo, a team he had played for in his youth years.

His natural position is in the defensive midfield, and with his tall stature, standing at 1.83 meters, and strong ability to regain possession for his team as well as being a good late runner in attack, the club considers him a player with a similar profile to Sergio Busquets. According to Mundo Deportivo, the Catalan side have been following Fernandes’ progress for over two years now through Brazilian scout André Cury, and have been impressed with the player.

And in recent days, per reports from Brazil, negotiations to bring the player to the Camp Nou have accelerated heavily. The deal is a complicated one as Botafogo still own 25% of the player despite his move to Palmeiras, and this has been an obstacle during the negotiations, as Barcelona have to agree with two clubs instead of one.

However, according to multiple reports, namely Brazilian outlets Globo Esporte and ESPN Brazil, the deal is close to being sealed. As it stands, Barcelona would pay 11 million euros for the player’s signing, with seven as the fixed price, and the remaining four in variables. The sum would be split 75 percent / 25 percent between Palmeiras and Botafogo, with his current club taking the bigger cut.

As the player’s move nears its completion, he did not train with his Palmeiras teammates on Tuesday, but had separate training after talking to manager Vanderlei Luxemburgo. Barcelona initially saw their offer of 6 million euros rejected, but the new offer should go through, and due to this, Fernandes will no longer feature for Palmeiras, reports Globo Esporte.

It remains to be seen whether he would be a signing specifically for Barcelona’s first team, or whether he would feature in the B-team at first, with a promotion clause, as has been the case with signings from Brazil in the recent past.

Matheus Fernandes’ current contract with Palmeiras runs out on December 31 of 2023.

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