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Juventus talks over Brazil starlet Kaio Jorge confirmed by Santos chief

20:22 EAT 21/03/2020
Kaio Jorge
The teenage forward is set to become the latest South American talent to make a big money move to Europe

Santos president Jose Carlos Peres has confirmed Juventus are in talks over a deal to sign young forward Kaio Jorge.

The highly-rated 18-year-old is the latest young talent to roll off the South American production line, with a big money move to Europe now looking likely.

As reported by Goal earlier this month, Juventus have been tracking Kaio for some time and were weighing up whether to trigger the reported €75 million (£69m/$81m) release clause in his contract.

The Serie A giants have now significantly stepped up their interest, with Peres confirming talks are underway, though they are set to face competition for his signature.

"The market hasn't stopped even a second. I receive calls normally. Football has stopped but the negotiations are still ongoing," Peres told Calciomercato in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.

"It is not a secret that there is interest, but I don't want to be caught off guard. If the right offers do not arrive within a deadline that we will establish, we will keep him until the end of the season.

“Juventus asked about him, but made no formal offer. I told them his release clause is €75m, but we are open to negotiation. We were discussing closer to €30m (£28m/$32m), but not just with Juve.

"Two other Italian teams are very active as well as a French one. However, since no news has come out in the press, I cannot reveal the names."

Peres also revealed that the club are in talks with European sides over two other members of their squad; attacking midfielder Yeferson Soteldo and defender Lucas Verissimo (pictured above).

"Inter asked me for Soteldo, specifically (director of sport Piero) Ausilio himself, but he stopped when I requested €35m (€32/$38m)," he added.

"Soteldo is a young player who has sensational skills, he is a player who decides games. All the big teams in Brazil asked me, Premier League teams like Everton want him and he has many offers from Spain

"Despite the disappointment we had with the story of Gabigol, we wanted to give preferential treatment to Piero and made a counter offer of €20-25m. But we have not heard back from him.

"As for Lucas Verissimo, the defender had practically been sold to Torino for €10m, a very low sum considering we wanted at least €12m. Then our coach at the time (Jorge Sampaoli) begged us not to sell him, so we had to withdraw him from the market.

“Verissimo still has a lot of offers, but the problem is that despite his name, he doesn’t have Italian citizenship.

Everton and Carlo Ancelotti also tried to take him on loan in January, but we were clear, he is only available on a permanent transfer.”