Santos have tied down talented midfield playmaker Gabriel Barbosa to a first professional contract, until December 2015, including a hefty €50 million release clause.
Gabriel Barbosa, 16, who is commonly referred to as ‘Gabigol’ is close friends with fellow Santos prodigy Victor Andrade, who has been impressing for the first-team this season, and the duo are seen as the latest star double-act to emerge from the club’s academy.
The deal was confirmed by the player’s father Valdemir Almeida Silva and Santos’ football director, Felipe Faro.
Valdemir told reporters: “We are happy. Our entire family is Santos. We had proposals from Europe and Brazil but we prefer Santos, who have welcomed Gabriel since he was eight years old.”
Gabigol, who has scored 9 goals in the Under-17 Championship this year, joined the club in 2004 having been spotted playing futsal for rivals São Paulo by former Brazil international Zito.
The player himself added: “It is a lot of money, I am impressed. It is fine for Victor, but I think Santos did the right thing. I trust them, my father and Wagner [Ribeiro]. It is the best for me. I am now reaping the benefits of what began eight years. I want to stay, I’m very happy at Santos.
“I want to train and play well enough to be able to climb and work with Neymar, Arouca and Victor himself. The faster you climb the better, but I still need to learn a lot at the base.”