Liverpool, Schalke, Monaco and Napoli are interested in Thiago Maia
Undoubtedly one of the biggest talents of Santos, midfielder Thiago Maia does not yet know if he will stay to play in the Copa Libertadores next year.
This is because the 19-year-old already draws attention of European teams, more precisely, from five clubs on the continent. ESPN Brasil reports that, in addition to Zenit, which saw their €18 million bid get rejected, Liverpool, Monaco, Schalke and Napoli have the youngster in their sights to make a move in January. The only amount revealed so far is the one offered by Italian side Napoli: €12 million. Despite being a regular starter under Dorival Júnior, Santos haven't ruled out the possibility of selling Thiago Maia in the January transfer window, because they hold 100% of his economic rights. However, due to a signed agreement, the club must pass 30% of the transfer fee to the player himself. Thiago, who is on vacation until January 11, did not give certainty about his stay at Vila Belmiro in 2017.
He said: "I'm on vacation, it's been a lot of work, but a very important year in my career. I was an Olympic champion and, in Santos, we had a consistent year, by winning the Paulistão title and being runner-up in tje Brazilian Championship. And now, Santos and my representatives will decide if it's time for a transfer. If it's to stay, the supporters can stay calm, I want to repeat the good season, play the Libertadores and be a champion."
Thiago Maia came through the youth system of Santos and, began to gain space in the professional from 2015, with former assistant Marcelo Fernandes. Then under Dorival, and next to Renato, he became a key player in the side. Santos, who were Copa do Brasil finalists last year, won the 2016 Paulistão and finished second in the Brasileirão table, and hence qualifying for the Libertadores after five years. This year he won Gold with Brazil in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. He began the competition as a starter, but eventually lost ground to Grêmio's Walace after missing out on the third round of the group stage against Denmark due to suspension.