Crystal Palace Interested in “Exciting” Youngster

Matheus Franca, a midfielder from Flamengo, is being monitored closely by Crystal Palace and several other teams, including Real Madrid, Lyon, Newcastle, and Bayer Leverkusen, according to AS. Franca’s current contract with Flamengo runs until 2028 and includes a termination clause of €200m (£176m), but Palace is “determined” to come to an agreement over the player.

In Flamengo’s 2-0 Copa Libertadores victory over Nublense at the Maracana, a representative from the Eagles hierarchy reportedly scouted Franca. Newcastle and Leverkusen have had offers of around €20m (£18m) for Franca rejected, but the Brazilian board “does not look badly” upon negotiations with Palace.

Franca made his senior debut for Flamengo in December 2021, and he has represented Brazil at various youth levels, including the U16, U17 and U20 teams. Franca is considered one of Mais querido do Brasil’s finest young products after Real Madrid phenom Vinicius Junior.

With 29 goal contributions in 30 games last season, Franca is “one of the most exciting teenagers in Brazil,” according to football scout Jacek Kulig, who can “play almost everywhere.” Franca’s pace, skill, close control and agility complement fellow playmaker Eberechi Eze, who is another maestro brimming with irresistible mastery.

Eze has recorded the second-highest rating (6.94) of any Palace player this season and is the club’s top league scorer with eight goals, as per WhoScored. The 24-year-old has also created 42 chances in all competitions this season at a rate of 1.27 per 90, demonstrating his formidable creativity. The Eagles have only scored 31 Premier League goals this season, the 14th lowest in the league, so the addition of Franca’s dynamism alongside Eze’s natural ability could create an unrelenting partnership.

With interest from other European giants, Palace faces stiff competition, making it all the more impressive if they win a summer move for Franca.

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