Gilberto hints at Arsenal edge in race to sign 16-year-old dubbed ‘new Neymar’

Arsenal legend Gilberto Silva has hinted that his former club may have the edge in the race to sign Brazilian sensation Endrick.

Teenage forwards from Brazil tend either to be ‘the new Pele or ‘the new Neymar’; Endrick is both, so no pressure there.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are among a host of European giants thought to be monitoring Endrick, who signed his first professional contract with Palmeiras over the summer before making his senior debut aged just 16 earlier this month.

Despite his very limited experience, the teenager is already valued at £13.5m by Transfermarkt, which goes some way to explaining why so many top clubs are interested.

But Gilberto appeared to hint at Arsenal holding an advantage as he talked about the importance of “well-connected” people making decisions.

“Well-connected” like Arsenal technical director Edu perhaps?

Asked about the Gunners’ chances of luring Endrick to the Emirates, Gilberto told Metro: “We know the importance in football of being well connected, to people, clubs, sporting directors, presidents of the club. This is how things happen.

“But there is big competition to get the best players, from the best leagues. For Palmeiras, they are going to receive a lot of calls from many clubs, the best clubs in the world to try and bring him to them.

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“It is a tough time for the player, honestly. Sometimes they are loads of messages, loads of opportunities, and it can be very difficult to make decisions. It is important for the people around him to give him the right advice together with the family, to let them make the right decision.

“Let’s see, if some point Arsenal did manage to bring the player, they will be getting a very good player.”

Endrick is not the only Palmeiras talent to have caught the eye at Arsenal, who are said still to be interested in midfielder Danilo having reportedly had a £20m bid rejected in the summer.

It’s thought the 21-year-old has had his head turned by the Gunners’ interest and Edu could return with an improved bid in January.

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