Ajax and Monaco battle for Recife attacking midfielder Gustavo

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Monaco and Ajax are leading the chase to sign Recife's 18-year-old attacking midfielder Gustavo, who is already playing senior football in Brazil.

Recife are ready to accept €2 million for their talented youngster, who could be set for a move in May. Portuguese league leaders Sporting CP and several MLS clubs are also monitoring his situation.

However, Monaco and Ajax are said to be engaged in an active dialogue about securing Gustavo's signature and are appealing options due to their reputation for developing young talent.

Who is Gustavo?

The youngster was born in the city of Presidente Dutra in 2002 to a bricklayer father, Creone Gomes de Oliveira, who inspired him to become a footballer.

At 14, Gustavo was said to have been rejected by local giants Palmeiras but has gone on to have a glittering youth career. He is being represented by former Brazil international striker Bebeto along with his business partner Antonio Goveia.

His current contract at Recife expires in December 2025.

Monaco or Ajax?

Monaco's appeal includes being part of a club that has networks around Europe to loan players, along with a sister club in Belgium, Cercle Brugge. 

Even in the Ligue 1 team's senior side, they look to keep the squad's average age down to develop players before selling them on to bigger clubs in the future.

Similarly, Ajax have a reputation for developing young talent and can boast of having their reserve team, Jong Ajax, playing in the division below the Eredivisie.

They are reportedly looking at a host of talent from Brazil ahead of the upcoming transfer window, with Red Bull Bragantino midfielder Claudinho mentioned as a target for the Amsterdam club in February.

After the suspension of Andre Onana, Santos goalkeeper Joao Paulo was also linked. However, interest in both Brazilian players has been played down by Ajax's director of football affairs Marc Overmars.

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Ajax are preparing for a KNVB Cup final match against Vitesse this week and remain in the Europa League. They are also likely to win the Dutch title once again, holding an 11-point lead atop the table at present.

Meanwhile, Monaco remain in the title race in France and will, at least, be jostling for European spots come the end of the season. They also have a cup quarter-final clash coming up against Lyon.

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