• Sao Paulo's Gustavo Maia is being viewed as Barcelona's "Neymar replacement"
  • Barcelona is set to make a decision on signing Maia on June 30
  • Maia has been a rising star in Sao Paolo

Barcelona are just days away from signing their new Neymar.

As the Catalan club continues to negotiate for the possible return of Neymar, Barca will now use up the option they have to buy Brazilian youngster Gustavo Maia – a striker viewed as Barcelona’s “Neymar replacement.”

Maia burst onto the scene as one of the most promising talents in Brazil. With his impressive goal scoring abilities, the 19-year-old has captured the attention of the biggest clubs across Europe’s top 5 leagues. Aside from Barcelona, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid are also linked to Maia’s big move.

The small-framed yet pacy winger has entered a tentative deal with the LaLiga giants. Barcelona have an option to buy Maia from Sao Paolo football club before anyone else until June 30. Ahead of the possible transfer, Maia’s agent Danilo Silva is confident that it is already a done deal.

In a recent interview with GloboEsporte (via, Silva revealed that there was a hint from Barcelona that Maia will surely be purchased by the club as they have always wanted to sign him.

"We are sure that Barcelona will complete the purchase. There was a hint from the club and Maia began having private Spanish classes on Monday to be more prepared. Other clubs came to us in recent months, but we never had any doubt, Barca always wanted him," Silva revealed.

Until June 30, Maia is still with Sao Paulo. The club’s sporting director Alexandre Passaro recently revealed more details about the Barcelona deal to ESPN Brasil (via Goal). According to Passaro, Barca have spent €1 million ($1.1 million) to secure a first-option buyout for the winger.

“We’ve only negotiated a first-option clause. If Barcelona opt not to exercise it until after June 30, then the money will remain with us,” Passaro explained.

Neymar, Lionel Messi
Neymar and Lionel Messi remain fitness doubts for Barcelona ahead of the FIFA Club World Cup final. Getty Images

Maia has always dreamed of playing for the biggest clubs in the world. After the completion of his move to Sao Paolo, the youngster expressed his gratitude and said: “Sao Paulo was the club that interested me the most with their structure and, of course, they are the biggest club in Brazil.”

It was at the 2014 Copa Sul-Americana Amizade Joia in Adamantina when Maia became a star. He finished the tournament as the top goal scorer, tallying a total of 16 goals in the process. The said feat saw him being courted by the top clubs in Brazil and is now also beginning to draw attention in Europe.