Tottenham Hotspur have encountered an early hurdle in their pursuit of 23-year-old Flamengo midfielder Gerson, with the reigning Copa Libertadores champions not interested in selling.
Gerson was part of the Flamengo side that was crowned 2019 South American club champions and went on to contest the FIFA Club World Cup final against Liverpool in December.
Of that side managed by former Benfica coach Jorge Jesus, centre back Pablo Mari and teenage midfielder Reinier have already made the switch to Europe, joining Arsenal (on loan) and Real Madrid respectively in the months since.
Gerson has already had one spell in Europe with Roma, but Spurs have been keeping an eye on the emerging star with a view to bringing him back across the Atlantic.
However, according to Goal, their willingness to offer £16m for the player won’t be enough. It is said that Flamengo are not looking to sell, while the player himself is happy to stay and continue to develop under Jesus – the 65-year-old coach has signed a 12-month contract extension.
Gerson’s difficult experience at Roma, where he started just 16 games in two seasons before a more successful loan spell at Fiorentina, may also be contributory factor in that.
Flamengo may be forced to sell a number of players to raise necessary funds to help ease the burden of the coronavirus crisis, but Goal explains that Jesus has requested the club do not let go of certain key players – Gerson appears to be one of those.
Having reached last season’s Champions League final, Spurs are in a transition period. A number of players, including Christian Eriksen and possibly soon Jan Vertonghen, have left and the club has sought to build a squad with new younger talents, with Tanguy Ndombele, Ryan Sessegnon, Steven Bergwijn and Giovani Lo Celso all commanding significant transfer fees.