Barcelona have confirmed they will complete the signing of Sao Paulo teenager Gustavo Maia as they activate their option to sign him.
The Catalan giants held a deposit of €1m to have the first choice on the teenager’s future and will now pay the remaining amount of €3.5m to secure the transfer.
Maia is known as a pacey forward with strong finishing ability and an eye for a pass and it now appears likely that he won’t play professionally in Brazil before his switch to Europe.
“We will complete the agreement in place,” Blaugrana director Xavier Vilajoana told an interview with Diario Sport. “He has a lot of skill and is an important signing for us.”
Last month, Diario Sport cited a report from Brazilian media outlet UOL claiming the 19-year-old – who is yet to make his senior debut for the club – is close to a switch to the Camp Nou.
A recent report in Marca claimed that the teenager was also attracting interest from other clubs including European champions Liverpool and Atleti, hence Barcelona putting down a deposit to secure first option.
In March, Sao Paulo executive manager Alexandre Passaro told an interview with ESPN Brazil, via Diario AS, that negotiations have already begun.
Barcelona were happy to pay the initial €1m for the deal but then had to delay the confirmation due to a disagreement on the restructuring of the payment schedule.
However, that is not expected to force the deal to collapse, with Barcelona set to secure a majority ownership transfer, with Sao Paulo retaining a 30% stake in the highly-rated forward.
Maia has impressed for the club’s underage sides, as well as the Brazilian Under-16 and Under-17 sides, but he is yet to make a senior appearance.