Anyone who's ever played Football Manager knows it's impossible to resist splashing big money on an unknown entity from Brazil, on the off chance they might turn out to be an absolute world beater.


They never are, but that's beside the point.


La Liga giants Barcelona aren't shy when it comes to scouring the Brazilian leagues for unearthed gems, and their latest foray into South America looks like resulting in the capture of Flamengo midfielder Gerson.


Barça are rumoured to be on the verge of securing the services of the young Brazilian, yet his story doesn't quite fit the 'South American plucked from obscurity to play in Europe for the first time' stereotype.


Here's everything you need to know about the man who could be gracing Camp Nou next season...



1. He's already had one failed stint in European football

Gerson moved to Roma in 2016

Anyone who follows Serie A with a keen interest will know exactly what we mean when we say he's not spent his entire career in Brazil.

Gerson was rumoured to be on Barcelona's wish list all the way back in 2015, though he opted for a move to Roma instead.

To say the switch didn't go to plan would be something of an understatement. Gerson spent three years in Italy - one of which he was shipped out on loan to Fiorentina for - and he headed back to Brazil in 2019 with just ten league starts for Roma under his belt.



2. His move back to Brazil caused uproar

Gerson started out at Fluminense

Speaking of his move back to Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro's Flamengo splashed £10.6m to bring Gerson back to his home country in 2019, though in signing for them he joined the city rivals of Fluminense - the club that handed him his first opportunity in professional football.

It's fair to say the move didn't go down well with his former employers, though his decision has been vindicated having picked up numerous pieces of silverware including the 2019 Copa Libertadores.



3. He's been attracting interest from some big hitters

Gerson playing for Flamengo during the 2019 Club World Cup

Barcelona's mooted interest isn't the first time Gerson has been linked with a big European club since moving back to Brazil.

In the last few years alone, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea and Tottenham have all reportedly been keen to thrash out a deal for the midfielder, with the latter's interest seeing them table a £16m bid which was swiftly rejected by Flamengo.

It seems Barcelona may have got their man this time with a £21.5m bid enough to tempt the Brazilian outfit into parting ways with their talented midfielder.



4. Style of play

Gerson has excelled since his move back to Brazil

Chances are the only thing you've gathered from this article so far is that he's a young Brazilian who bottled his first stint in European football, so what is there to know about his style of play?

If you're the type of football fan who bases their entire opinion of a player on how many goal involvements they rack up for the season then Gerson isn't the player for you.

The youngster isn't the type to notch ten goals and ten assists in a season from midfield, but what he does offer is a progressive style of play full of energy, while his ball-playing skills are exactly what you'd expect of a Brazilian midfielder.



5. He may have lost his chance to represent Brazil

Gerson representing the Brazilian Under-20 side

You may be wondering why this lad hasn't represented the Brazil senior side if he's that special, but politics may be playing a part in his omission.

Gerson played for the Under-20 side between 2015-2016 and was on the brink of a call-up to the senior squad in 2019.

However, later that year he refused a call-up to the Under-23 squad to participate in the summer Olympics, claiming he was suffering with fatigue after a gruelling campaign with Flamengo.

The news didn't go down well and rumours have surfaced that his lack of involvement with the senior side has been due to his refusal to represent his country at the Olympics.



6. His dad makes Mino Raiola seem like a shrinking violet

Gerson's dad seems to have a lot to say about his future

Alright, maybe that's a tad melodramatic, but his dad certainly likes to entertain the media.

With numerous European clubs already monitoring his son's progress last year, Marcos Santos wasn't shy when it came to throwing more names into the mix, claiming Arsenal were also keen on securing a deal.

Whether it was true or not we'll probably never know, but to be quite honest we're all for it. It's probably highly embarrassing for the player himself, but get his dad in front of the cameras and tell him to make up more transfer gossip for us.