Paulo Henrique Ganso has told Santos that he wants to quit the club and move to Europe. Local media say that Inter Milan (coached by a Brazilian, Leonardo) are favourites to sign the 21 year old.
After prolonged contract negotiations, it had seemed, three weeks ago, that Ganso was ready to sign a new deal at Santos. This was widely reported in the local media and this blog. However, while salary was not an issue (Ganso would earn approximately GBP 40k per week versus his current wage of less than a quarter of that), Ganso was not happy with the release clause in the contract and this was the main sticking point.
The release clause in his current contract is 50 million Euros. The player wanted that to be reduced in the new contract so as not to price himself out of a move to Europe in the future. Santos wouldn’t budge on that though and neither would Ganso and his representatives. Negotiations seem to have hit an impasse and he has refused to sign the new deal and publicly stated his desire to leave.
It is thought that Inter Milan are favourites to sign the player although AC Milan have shown interest and Lyon made a bid (rejected) last year. The usual suspects Barcelona and Real Madrid have also been mentioned. Watch this space. As for the release clause – well, it is still 50 million Euros and remains to be seen whether Santos would accept anything less than this. Any deal is likely to happen in the European summer so nothing is imminent and Ganso should remain at Santos for the next few months at least.