By Richard Parks
Liverpool have opened negotiations to sign Flamengo wonderkid Reinier Jesus, according to the club’s former president.
Kleber Leite, former president of the Brazilian giants, has revealed on his personal website that the Champions League semi-finalists are already talking to the 16-year-old midfielder’s family.
The well-connected Leite, who qualifies as an insider due to his former role, is convinced that a deal will eventually be done for Jesus to head to Anfield, although it come take two years due to Fifa rules.
Leite wrote: “I received certain information that the English club, who were monitoring the young Flamengo and Brazilian midfielder Reinier, 16, have already started negotiations with the boy’s family.
“Our young values are being erased prematurely, without even being able to write a page that is in the history of the Brazilian club that put them in the football world.
“Reinier will probably have another two years as a Flamengo player. Very little. Sad…”
Fifa rules stop South American players under the age 18 moving to European clubs unless their parents have moved to the nation for other reasons.
That means that Reds would have to wait two years to play Reinier, who has a contract with the Rio-based club until 2021.
Football Insider verdict:
There is intense competition among Europe’s elite clubs to snap up the outstanding young talent from south American football hotbeds Brazil and Argentina. Vinicius Junior, 17, last year agreed to join Real Madrid when he turns 18 in a deal will see Flamengo net £38million, while another of the club’s stars Lincoln, also 17, is on the radar of the Champions League holders as well as Barcelona. Leite appears to suggest a move to Liverpool for Jesus is inevitable. How the Merseysiders would love him to make the same impact as his countryman and Manchester City namesake Gabriel Jesus.