Little known Brazilian youngster emerges as Newcastle, West Ham target but tricky deal ahead for winter capture

Jeffinho Botafogo 2022 TEAMtalk1 Credit: Alamy
Jeffinho Botafogo 2022 TEAMtalk1 Credit: Alamy

Reports claim both Newcastle United and West Ham United have sent scouts to watch Botafogo star Jeffinho but landing the forward may be tough.

The two Premier League clubs have enjoyed differing fortunes during the early part of the campaign. While Newcastle are sitting pretty in third spot in the table, the Hammers have stuttered to 16th. Saturday’s 2-0 home loss to Leicester City was their third straight defeat, heaping further pressure on David Moyes.

The Magpies took care of Chelsea 1-0 at St James’ Park to head into the World Cup break full of confidence.

Therefore, West Ham’s needs seem greater than the Tynesiders but the duo are said to be eyeing the South American.

Jeffinho, 22, plays for Rio de Janeiro-based outfit Botafogo and has enjoyed a meteoric rise at the club. Beginning his career at Resende, he was loaned to fourth-tier club Gama in 2021.

A return to Resende earlier this year heralded a change in fortunes as the youngster saw more game time and impressed.

However, he was loaned to Botafogo in April and placed in the club’s B-team. But first-team manager Luis Castro saw enough in the starlet to promote him to the Serie A squad.

He has not looked back since, with 17 starts among 23 league appearances for Estrela Solitaria after penning permanent terms. Jeffinho has notched two goals to date and turned the heads of a number of European clubs.

Journalist Jose Passini is reporting that Eddie Howe and Moyes are aware of the talent. And they have dispatched scouts to see him in action over the past few months.

The reports have been favourable as the attacking midfielder continues to shine.

Jeffinho deal will not be easy

Moving to Europe is now commonplace for South American players. Many of the top clubs have Brazilians on board.

Newcastle have Joelinton and Bruno Guimaraes while the Hammers can boast Lucas Paqueta in their ranks.

Therefore it would be no surprise to see Jeffinho ply his trade in the Premier League. However, one stumbling block might be that his present employers are in no rush to sell.

The Volta Redonda-born ace is under contract until the summer of 2025. And that means Botafogo will be able to demand a sizeable fee for their star man.

Jeffinho ticks all boxes

Howe has worked wonders with the north-east club in a short space of time. From relegation candidates last season, they are now serious contenders to qualify for the Champions League.

The ex-Bournemouth chief has been roundly praised for his recruitment drive.

He has had funds to improve the squad but chosen new players wisely, with the squad all buying into his work ethic.

There seems every reason to believe that he will be given money to further strengthen the squad in January. Whether they move for Jeffinho only time will tell.

Anyone who does acquire his services will get a player able to operate out wide or as an attacking central midfielder.

It may take time for the young star to adapt to the English game. But, if Miguel Almiron is anything to go by, he would be worth persevering with.

The Paraguay international is now flying after struggling to make too much of an impact early in his Newcastle career.

He has eight goals from 15 league outings in 2022-2023. Jeffinho has managed four goals and seven assists across all competitions this season.

He is rated extremely highly. Both English clubs are an attractive proposition for Brazilian players.

But, of the two, it is obvious which one is currently the dominant force.

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