Santos look to Rodriguinho as Muricy complains of inflated market
The dream had been of a return to the Vila Belmiro for one of the club's former idols, Diego or Robinho, but with finances prohibiting their return, Santos have turned their attention to América-MG playmaker Rodriguinho.
Rodriguinho, 24, arrived in Minas Gerais from Bragantino in 2011 and has been identified by Santos boss Muricy Ramalho as a possible reinforcement for the Peixe.
The midfielder has been linked with both Flamengo and Figueirense in the past year, but Santos hope their good relationship with the Série B club will play in their favour as they negotiate a possible deal.
"I have a great relationship with Santos and they have asked about Rodriguinho, but there has been no offer," América director Alexandre Faria told Lancenet.
"Rodriguinho is to América what Neymar represents for Santos. We are always open to offers, but he is our main player and our foundation for 2013."
Santos and América's close working relationship dates back to the transfer of Danilo in 2010, with the smaller club also profiting from the Brazil international's later move to FC Porto.
Earlier on Friday, Santos manager Muricy Ramalho had complained of a lack of value in the transfer market, as the Paulista side struggle to secure transfer targets for the 2013 campaign.
They did, however, manage to complete the signing of centre-back Neto from Guarani on a two-year deal announced on Friday.