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FC Barcelona Secure First Option On Three Santos Youngsters

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As part of the deal that saw Neymar join Barcelona, the Blaugrana secured "first option" on three more talented Santos players, Victor Andrade, Gabriel Barbosa and an as yet unnamed third player

Will Neymar turn out to be the first in a long line of Santos strikers to join the Blaugrana?
Will Neymar turn out to be the first in a long line of Santos strikers to join the Blaugrana?
David Ramos

When FC Barcelona finally confirmed the signing of Brazilian superstar striker Neymar from Santos back in May, it was widely believed to be just the first deal in what could become a fruitful partnership between the Blaugrana and the Peixe. As part of the €57 million deal for Neymar, Barcelona were believed to have secured a "first option" on a number of Santos youngsters, and this was confirmed today by Santos president, Luis Alvaro de Oliveira in an interview with Brazilian media outlet Globoesporte.

There are three players in total, and Oliveira confirmed the identity of two of those three, Victor Andrade and Gabriel Barbosa, affectionately known as "Gabigol" by the Santos faithful. The penalty to Santos for breaking this agreement (without Barcelona's consent) is a staggering €50 million, although in return, Barca will pay Santos a "considerable" amount of money, although that value remains confidential.

Victor Andrade is a 17 year-old striker who is equally capable of playing on the left or right-hand side of attack -- just as Neymar did before him. While Andrade may be young, he has already made 19 appearances in the Brazilian Serie A, scoring three goals in Santos' disappointing 2012 campaign. Gabriel on the other hand is a "pure" striker, and a prolific one at that, hence his nickname "Gabigol". At just 16 years of age, Gabriel has already made his Serie A debut, even providing an assist in Santos' 3-1 loss against Criciuma less than a month ago.

At the moment, it's uncertain as to whether Victor Andrade or 'Gabigol' will flourish with Santos, just as Neymar has done, but it's encouraging that Barcelona are positioned to benefit if they do.