Atlético Madrid have made the first move in the tussle to sign Brazilian sensation Paulinho, a 17-year-old forward currently plying his trade at Vasco de Gama.
Paulinho, who has been capped 21 times at under-17 level for Brazil, was named young player of the season in the 2017 Brasileiro Serie A ahead of several other rising stars including Vinícius Júnior, who Real Madrid have signed for 45 million euros. Primarily a winger, Paulinho became the first player born this century to score in the Copa Libertadores as in the qualifying rounds as Vasco de Gama reached the 2018 tournament proper.
Paulinho in demand
At international level, he was part a side including Vinícius and Alan that won the 2017 South American under-17 Championship and scored three times as Brazil finished third in the under-17 World Cup last October.
La Gazzetta dello Sport and Brazilian daily Diário Carioca both reported that Atlético have made an offer of 14 million euros but that was rejected by Vasco de Gama, who pointed to Paulinho’s 30-million-euro release clause.
AC Milan, Inter Milan and PSG are also credited with an interest in Paulinho, who seems destined for a move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs sooner rather than later.