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Young Brazilian players could be last-minute bargains for European soccer clubs – WTOP News

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SAO PAULO (AP) — Several young soccer players in Brazil are ready to join European leagues during the current transfer…

SAO PAULO (AP) — Several young soccer players in Brazil are ready to join European leagues during the current transfer window. They’ve had impressive seasons so far and now could be an ideal time to secure their best deals.

Here are a few names to keep an eye on:

MAURICIO

The 22-year-old Internacional midfielder has caught the attention of foreign clubs since last year. He has pace, can shoot from long range and adapts well to different positions in the middle of the ground. Mauricio scored 14 goals in 48 matches this year. Until recently, he was reportedly targeted by two clubs in La Liga and Serie A’s Atalanta, but remained at the Brazilian club. Some media reports say he is worth 6 million euros ($6.58 million).

MATHEUS FRANÇA

The 19-year-old Flamengo midfielder has been targeted by several European clubs, and Crystal Palace appears to be the closest to securing his transfer. França played 29 matches this year and scored nine goals. He wore Flamengo’s No. 10 in youth divisions, shows impressive ball control and can also work as a target man. The Rio de Janeiro club reportedly rejected a bid of 15 million euros ($16.47 million) from the Premier League club for him.

LUCAS BERALDO

The 19-year-old Sao Paulo defender has been one of the team’s best players in the season. The left-footed teenager was on in 27 matches for his club this year, only one year after he turned professional. Beraldo’s calm style has won fans over and made him a certain starter for the team since April. He still needs to improve physically, which some of his coaches have hinted is his main flaw.

MATHEUS NASCIMENTO

The 19-year-old Botafogo center-forward was in Brazil’s squad in the latest Under-20 World Cup. Nascimento scored three goals in 19 matches for his club this year. His total tally for Botafogo of 11 goals in 80 matches, which is impressive for his age. Nascimento is a sharp finisher, but is still improving physically. The Rio de Janeiro club, which currently leads the Brazilian championship, reportedly rejected a 9 million-euro ($9.82-million) offer from Nottingham Forest.

BRUNO MÉNDEZ

The 23-year-old Corinthians defender has played for Uruguay’s national team and can sign a pre-contract to leave for free at the end of the year. Though not very tall for a defender at 1.80 meters (5 feet, 9 inches), Méndez is effective in the air and also has the pace to play as a right-back.

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