With January fast approaching, Arsenal andTottenham are preparing to battle it out for the signature of Brazilian superstar Leandro Damiao. The 22-year-old striker currently plays his football in his native Brazil but could be open to a move to Europe if the £25million asking price is matched.
Juventus have also expressed an interest in the Internacional striker and the player’s agent has held talks in Turin this week.
Damiao earned his first International appearance this year in a friendly with Scotland after scoring 40 goals in 52 games for his club.
Arsenal are looking to sign the striker to bolster their attack, along with proving to Robin Van Persie that they don’t lack ambition as the Dutchman ponders over a new contract. Van Persie has been on great form for the Gunners this season but appears to be the only Arsenal player capable of putting the ball in the net.
Arsene Wenger has money to spend from the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri in the summer and Damiao would certainly give them much needed strike power to combine with Van Persie.
So, Wenger has money to spend and the Brazilian forward could be right up his street. He is young, quick and composed for someone of his age. Along with wonderkid Neymar, Damiao is a part of a young breed of South Americans who could be taking over the European game.
With Marouane Chamakh not getting a look in at the Emirates and Niclas Bendtner on loan at Sunderland it is looking ever more likely that the Gunners will sign a striker in January.
Harry Redknapp had two bids rejected in the summer for the Brazilian striker but Spurs fell short of the asking price. With Jermaine Defoe perhaps looking to move away from the Lane to find regular football in January ahead of Euro 2012, and Emmanuel Adebayor only on loan at the North London club, this promising youngster could be the answer to their long term striker problem.
Roman Pavlyuchenko is almost definitely leaving White Hart Lane and two strikers may not be enough to get the title chasing Spurs through the second half of the campaign. Damiao’s deadly touch in front of goal would suit a side that create as many chances as Spurs do. Width of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon can gift a striker numerous chances in every game.
Damiao came to London last year and scored at Craven Cottage for Brazil in a friendly, where Kenny Dalglish was an interested onlooker and Liverpool could also come in for the striker who is attracting plenty of attention from our shores.
Damiao is not your stereotypical Brazilian player, his awareness and off the ball play is more noticeable that his silky skills and dribbling, although he has both.
A goalscoring record as a youngster which could compare with the great Ronaldo, it is not hard to see why the £25million price tag is just the beginning price. Damaio can score with his left foot, right foot and head all equally and is a natural in front of goal that is clear to see in his video.
A future World Cup star in the making, Damiao can also rough it with the best and would suit European football down to a tee.
Damiao would fit in to both North London rivals squads extremely well but whether they match the £25million asking price or Juventus get their first, he is certainly one to look out for in the coming years.