Rio de Janeiro, July 14 (IANS) Barcelona have exercised an option to sign teenage forward Gustavo Maia from Brazil’s Sao Paulo, according to media reports in the South American country.
The Catalan club paid one million euros ($1.1 million) to acquire the right of first refusal for Maia in March, following the 19-year-old’s impressive performances for Sao Paulo’s under-20 team, writes Xinhua news agency.
According to Globo Esporte, Barcelona agreed to pay 3.5 million euros ahead of a July 15 deadline to proceed with the deal.
Former Athletico Paranaense goalkeeper Neto is currently the only other Brazilian in Barcelona’s squad following the June departure of midfielder Arthur to Juventus.
Maia, who can play as a second striker, winger or an attacking midfielder, joined Sao Paulo’s youth academy as a 14-year-old.