Report: Botafogo set to sign Shandong Luneng Taishan teenager Tang Shi after successful trialFans of Brazil's Botafogo sing before their Copa Libertadores qualifying match against Ecuador's Deportivo Quito at the Estádio do Maracanã on February 5, 2014
China Under-20 international Tang Shi is set to sign with Brasileirão side Botafogo, according to reports.
The midfielder initially caught the attention of Fogão scouts when he came up against their Under-19 side during a tour of Asia, in 2013.
Shi, who is owned by Shandong Luneng Taishan, subsequently had a trial with Botafogo in April and Globoesporte claims he impressed sufficiently to be offered a three year deal. All that is missing to complete the transfer is the necessary paperwork from Shandong.
Botafogo Head Coach Vágner Mancini has had the chance to watch Shi train and is excited by his potential.
"He is a promising player. I have been able to observe him and he has great technical quality and vision," he told the Brazilian news portal, as reported by China.
"He hasn't attracted this much attention for nothing. I think that the physical aspect is probably going to be the most difficult for him. He will need to focus on nutrition to put on weight, even though we often see small, light players being successful.”
Despite the expectation that a deal will be completed soon, Shi is refusing to get carried away by the prospect of a permanent switch to Brazil.
"Now I'm only thinking about working as hard as I possibly can to become a professional," he insisted. "I really like Brazilian football, it's the best in the world. But we still have to see if my future is going to be here."
Should Shi sign for Botafogo, he will be the second Chinese player to join a Brazilian side after Chen Zhizhao. The 27 year-old, who now plays for Beijing Guoan, was loaned to Corinthians by Shanghai Shenxin for the 2012 Brasileirão and made two appearances before returning to China at the end of the campaign.