Gabriel Moscardo is one of Barcelona's targets for 2024. The Brazilian midfielder, who has just turned 18, is playing so well that Deco is in love with his game, as SPORT revealed at the beginning of September.
Barça have now decided to start moving to sign the midfielder, who is one of the great revelations of the year in Brazil and South America and who has attracted the interest of other big European clubs.
As SPORT has been able to confirm, Deco has already established contact with the 'Timao' to officially convey the Blaugrana's interest in their 'jewel', an U-23 international (he was in the last squad with Vitor Roque), who stands out for his good understanding of the game, his technical skills and his incredible personality.
He looks to be a star and his style of play fits the profile of what Barça are looking for in the midfield position, where they currently only have one natural specialist, the good Oriol Romeu. And it is not only Deco who envisions Moscardo wearing Blaugrana colours, but it is a diagnosis shared by all the European scouts from the Old Continent who comb the market in Brazil in search of talent.
Barça have taken advantage of the fact that negotiations between Corinthians and Chelsea have reached a deadlock. Between the end of August and the beginning of this month, the Blues presented two firm offers for Moscardo, the last of which was for 21 million euros, four million euros in variables and a percentage of the capital gain from a future sale.
The 'Timao', who have 80% of the economic rights of their goalkeeper, rejected the two offers and went on the counter asking for 30 kilos, which showed that, at this precise moment, they were not in the mood to part with their player. He wanted to listen to other options.
In November, there are elections at Corinthians with the outcome still very much undecided between the two candidates, who represent the two main political factions of the club. The current president, Duílio Monteiro Alves, will finish his term of office and, by status, cannot stand for re-election.
Everything suggests that the sale of Moscardo, as has happened with other young players of the 'Timao' (Adson, Pedro, Barletta, Murillo...), will end up being formalised during the current financial year in order to balance the club's accounts before the change of presidency.
The arrival of Barça blows up the negotiating framework that had been created around Moscardo with Chelsea as the only 'player'. Now, a new scenario is opening up and here we will have to hear what the footballer has to say, very well advised and with a very constructive family environment. The fact that Deco will be in charge of the Culer sports management could be a very important element to take into account.
One of the strengths of the new sporting director is his profound knowledge of the Brazilian market, where until officially joining the Barça structure he operated with his representation agency.
Between May and June, when he had not yet been officially appointed to the position, he tried to close the deal for Moscardo in a lightning operation, because he understood that he was one of the big 'cover-ups' in Brazil, as he was a real unknown to the general public and the media. At the time, the 17-year-old pivot was playing for the 'Timao' U-20 team.
Everything changed overnight when he made his first-team debut on 28 June against Liverpool of Montevideo in an inconsequential match for the Paulistas, who, already eliminated, were closing the group stage of the Copa Libertadores.
There he won the confidence of his coach, Vanderlei Luxemburgo (who has just been sacked and replaced by Mano Menezes). And three months later, he is an undisputed starter. He has 15 official matches between the Brasileirao, the Copa do Brasil and the Copa Sudamericana (where on Tuesday the 'Timao' will try to qualify for the final).
Moscardo is proving that he has the quality and mentality to play for the team with the most fanatical 'torcida' in Brazil. His next step is to fly to Europe, where he will join one of the big teams. Barça has entered the game, and the game is on.