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Rumour Mongering: Reds Battle Manchester United and Juventus for £39M Brazilian

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You’ve never heard of Luan Vieira, but reports in Brazil claim three big European clubs want him.

Gremio v Internacional - Brasileirao Series A 2014 Photo by Vinicius Costa/ Getty Images

Gremio striker Luan Vieira has impressed for Brazil at the Olympics, scoring three goals and two assists. It’s been something of a coming out party for the 23-year-old striker who had a solid but unspectacular 2015 at the club level, scoring 17 goals over 55 total appearances in league, state league, and cup competitions.

And along with that have come reports of interest from the major European clubs. According to Brazil’s Zero Hora, at least three suitors with cash to spend are lining up bids for Vieira, Liverpool and Manchester United in England and Juventus in Italy. But they will need pay a hefty £39M fee if they want him.

According to Zero Hora, that’s the fee it would take to Gremio to consider selling now, though if the interested clubs are willing to wait until January, a fee of around £26M might be considered. As though to paint that as a bargain, they add that the player has a £68M buyout clause that can be triggered by clubs outside Brazil.

Vieira is a versatile attacker, able to take up positions on the wing and attacking midfield as well as as an out-and-out striker, and that positional flexibility has at times seen his goal return suffer as he’s shunted around the pitch to fill positions of need. That flexibility could add to his value. Still, £39M seems excessive.

For Liverpool at least, having signed Sadio Mané and with depth across the attacking positions, it’s difficult to imagine it being a fee they would be willing to pay. At that fee, United similarly seem unlikely suitors, though knowing Jose Mourinho’s disdain for Juan Mata, perhaps a supporting role could be found for Vieira.

In Italy, meanwhile, Juventus may be rich but having spent much their Paul Pogba windfall on Gonzalo Higuain, £39M for Vieira seems a stretch. For all of the clubs rumoured to be interested, in fact, £39M seem a stretch for a talented but untested South American attacker who wouldn’t fill a pressing need.

With that in mind, it’s a rumour that begins to feel like an agent in search of a payday or a club testing the market, trying to find out if there’s interest in a player whose value is nearing its peak. If that’s all it is—and that is likely all it is—then it will go down as a hopeful but almost certainly doomed rumour.