CONFIRMED BY ESPN, Striker Release Clause Triggered, £40m Star On The Way

Despite reports yesterday by ESPN that Arsenal are prepared to pay the full release clause of Brazilian star Gabriel Barbosa, Brazilian club Santos is planning to offer Gabigol a contract extension, as they want to keep the wonder kid for many more years.

Santos’ president Modesto Roma told Globo Esporte,: “Santos will do everything to keep its athletes. It’s good for Santos and for Lucas Lima that he fulfills the contract.

“And the club wants Gabriel to fulfil his too, unless someone pays the release clause. We are open to talk, to negotiate. The career of a player isn’t only based on money.”

Santos would be planning to make a career plan, offering youngster Gabigol a language course, media training, a psychologist and a speech therapist according to Globo Esporte. The Brazil club is also expected to encourage commercial deals, just like they did with Barcelona star Neymar, to increase the player’s wages by using his image rights.

Gabriel, 19, is also expected to receive a pay rise, with bigger bonuses for good performances and titles. His current Santos contract would be extended until 2021, as the current one expires in 2019.

The youngster’s family and agent reportedly want the wonder kid to stay on at Santos at least until the end of the year, unless the player receives an irresistible bid from a top European club.

According to Globo Esporte the player has €50m release clause in his current contract, which goes against what the agent Wagner Ribeiro said. Wagner Ribeiro claimed that European clubs could take the player for only €18m.

Arsenal had triggered this €18m clause, which didn’t sound true as recently reported by Radio Bandeirantes. The ESPN Brasil report talking about a regular bid seemed much more reliable.

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