Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester City were both interested in signing Brazilian wonderkid Endrick Felipe, but the Palmeiras striker has dealt a blow to their hopes
Liverpool and Manchester City have suffered a major transfer blow after 15-year-old wonderkid Endrick Felipe named his ideal next club as being Barcelona.
The Brazilian has starred in Palmeiras’ academy and is thought to have scored more than 150 goals in just five years playing for their youth teams.
He caught wider attention at the Copa Sao Paulo de Futebol Júnior, scoring six goals in seven games as Palmeiras won the title, being voted as player of the tournament in the process.
Playing as a striker, he has been compared to World Cup winning compatriots Ronaldo and Romario in the past, drawing the eye of the Reds and City, among many others.
But in what is a huge blow to the Premier League rivals, Endrick has appeared to name Barcelona as his preferred destination for when he departs Palmeiras.
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Barca is the former club of both Ronaldo and Romario, as well as legendary Brazilian star Ronaldinho.
And Endrick has now made it clear that he hopes to one day follow in their footsteps if the La Liga giants came calling.
“It is a club where many players passed through who inspire us younger ones like Neymar Jr., Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Romario… and Ronaldinho,” he told Sport.
“All the boys who want to play abroad think of Barça because of Neymar Jr., who is from our generation. If one day the time comes to leave, maybe Barça can be an option.
“Yes, it may be my style, but I try to fit in all: with a sharper game or tiki-taka. Barça is a very good team.
“In 2015 they won the Champions League with Xavi and Iniesta and the MSN in attack. It was a spectacular team, as rarely seen.”
Barcelona are already understood to have scouted the 15-year-old, but the striker has insisted that he is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.
“Yes, but I focused on Palmeiras, forgetting all the off-field factors,” he said when asked if he knew Barca had watched him play.
“I played my game, we were champions and I managed to play well , I hope I impressed you.
“I am with a calm head, feet on the ground and a lot of humility. I try not to watch social media. I let God lead and thank him for everything that happens to me.”
Before his thoughts turn towards a departure, Endrick will sign his first professional contract with Palmerias.
“It is the club that opened the doors for me, the biggest champion in Brazil and the best team in the world according to the IFFHS ranking,” he added.
“I want to stay here and win many titles, the Copa Libertadores and the Club World Cup… and, God willing, become an idol of the ‘torcida’.
“I don’t think about it now [interest from Europe]. I am going to sign my first professional contract and my head is to play for Palmeiras.
“I don’t want to lose focus. My goal is always to show my performance and, of course, by playing better, I’m going to arouse the interest of teams from the big European championships.”