Home » EPL, Latest » Man United sign Brazilian Rafael Leao from feeder club

Manchester United have signed midfielder Rafael Leao on loan from their Brazilian feeder academy Desportivo Brasil and have the option to make the move permanent.

Leao, a tough-tackling midfielder who has been compared to 1994 World Cup-winning captain Dunga, turns 18 next week and will train with the United academy for the rest of the season.

Sportsmail revealed last week that United had options to sign five promising youngsters from Desportivo Brasil and Leao is the first to reach the age at which he can legally leave his country.

Three of the five – Aguilar, Lucas Evangelista and Agnaldo – played in a friendly for Twente last week and the Dutch champions have been lined up to be a transition club for the teenagers before they come to Europe.

However, United have decided to take Leao straight to their Carrington training base, though it has not yet been confirmed whether the move is subject to a work permit.

Part of the reason for the link-up with Twente is so that the players can take steps to gaining an EU passport, though some South Americans can gain passports through family ties.

Gladstony, another midfielder, is the next to turn 18 in August, but he was unable to play in the Twente test match because of injury.

United set up their link with Desportivo Brasil two and a half years ago and hope it will provide them with a steady stream of talent.

Scouts from the Barclays Premier League leaders search South America for talented youngsters and place them with the academy until they are old enough to move to Europe.

Although Desportivo Brasil have more than 100 players on their books, United only have options on about half a dozen of the very best.

When they turn 18, they can move to United for a fixed fee, with the Brazilian academy retaining a 50 per cent sell-on clause.

Source: DailyMail

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