Newcastle, Crystal Palace, West Ham ‘prepare bids’ for nine-goal Brazilian attacker wanted by Arsenal

Harry Watkinson
Maracana Stadium Victor Hugo of Flamengo, celebrates his goal with Matheus Franca
Victor Hugo of Flamengo, celebrates his goal with Matheus Franca

Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and West Ham are set to battle for Flamengo wonderkid Matheus Franca this summer, according to reports.

The 19-year-old is one of the most in-demand players in South America at the moment and is believed to be keen on a move to the Premier League.

Now, it seems the Premier League trio could enter into a bidding war for Franca.

As previously reported by Football365, some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Arsenal, hold an interest in the youngster.

So far, the skilful attacker has made 53 appearances across all competitions for Flamengo. In the process, he has scored nine goals so far.

His performances have even led to some comparisons with a young Kevin de Bruyne. So, it’s no surprise to see widespread interest in him.

Now, as per Globo EsporteNewcastle, Crystal Palace and West Ham are all preparing to make bids for Franca this summer.

Newcastle are certainly a club on the up at the moment. After their takeover and subsequent top-four finish last term, they represent an attractive proposition for any player.

Eddie Howe seems to have put a focus on buying young talent, too. For example, in January, he snapped up Everton winger Anthony Gordon for a fee of £45m.

Another youngster currently linked with Newcastle is Arda Guler. The Fenerbahce star has been dubbed the ‘Turkish Messi’ and, like Franca, is on the radar of several top clubs at the moment. Although, Arsenal and Liverpool are firmly in the race for him, too.

Clearly, Howe is building for the future. But, given the level of interest in Franca, he won’t come cheap.

Flamengo have already inserted a ‘huge’ release clause in the Brazilian’s contract. But, they are reportedly ‘willing to entertain’ bids over €25m (approx. £21.5m).

This may sound like a lot for a player with no Premier League experience. But, if he lives up to his potential, he will be worth every penny.

However, if Newcastle fail to meet that price tag, this could open the door for Crystal Palace and West Ham to swoop in.

With that in mind, Franca will definitely be a player to keep an eye on over the next few weeks.

READ MORE: Arsenal register interest in Man Utd, Newcastle and Liverpool target; €45m bid required to win battle