Newcastle United are reportedly prepared to shell out €20 million to sign SC Braga’s 16-year-old wonderkid, Roger Fernandes.

Portuguese outlet TSF has offered an update on Newcastle United and their pursuit of Roger Fernandes. The Magpies are stepping up their efforts to sign the SC Braga prodigy as they want to guarantee the player’s ownership this summer. They are willing to pay Braga’s valuation of around €20 million and are prepared to let the forward stay in Portugal for another year to continue his development.

The Magpies’ advanced interest in the player was first reported last week. Widespread speculation claimed that Newcastle had already enquired Braga about the 16-year-old’s availability and had also contacted the player’s representatives. Per TSF, they have decided to proceed with negotiations for the Braga wonderkid, who is regarded as one of the most promising young talents in Europe.

Fernandes first hit the headlines last term at Braga, when he became the youngest player to play a competitive game in the Portuguese top-flight at just 15 years of age while making his senior bow for the Archbishops. Now 16, he will only get better with more experience, but he has already scored three goals in 11 competitive games for Braga and certainly looks to have a bright future ahead of him.

Despite the fact that he is still in his formative years, he has a slew of suitors waiting in the wings for his signature. The report claims that the Portuguese outfit have already turned down offers in the region of €10 million and €12 million for the teenage wonderkid, showing that he is a coveted property on the transfer market.

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Newcastle United, meanwhile, are looking to get their second senior signing through the door after converting Matt Targett’s loan into a permanent deal earlier in the window. But they have also done some significant business to strengthen their youth ranks, signing 17-year-old centre-back Alex Murphy while also agreeing terms for Kilmarnock starlet Charlie McArthur to add further quality to their Under-23 side.

Signing someone as highly rated as Fernandes could be deemed as a long-term investment by Newcastle which would pay dividends in the future. Capable of playing on either wing, the 16-year-old is an exceptional dribbler and springs to his feet but is still very raw and has to build his physique to suit the Premier League in the long run.

However, a move to England at such a tender age can be a bit tricky thanks to the Brexit ruling. So Fernandes is unlikely to be able to move to Newcastle until he is 18 years old and will have to be loaned back for the next two years.

Newcastle must do everything to beat their competitors and secure this deal, as it is a win-win situation; if the Portuguese wonderkid is able to fulfil his potential in the next couple of years and does well on loan, he could become a good rotation option for Eddie Howe, perhaps blossoming into a superstar. And if not, Newcastle will always be able to sell him for a good profit.

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