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Barcelona monitoring two teenage midfield talents from Portugal handpicked by Deco



Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

It has not been a long time since Deco took over as the new sporting director of FC Barcelona, but the former Portugal international is already leaving his mark.

Indeed, Deco played a key part in the Catalan giants’ signing Vitor Roque while he also helped facilitate loan deals for Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo.

Under the former midfielder, there will be a distinct focus on signing young prospects, as has been seen by the acquisition of Roque, Mika Faye, Noah Darvich, and Mamadou Fall already.

Recent reports suggested that Deco was meeting the club’s scouts to formulate a strategy to identify and sign the best young talents across the globe.

Deco eyeing two Portuguese wonderkids

Building on that, SPORT’s David Bernabeu Reverter is reporting that Deco has already handpicked two young talents from Portugal whom Barcelona are tracking.

The two prospects in question are Joao Neves of SL Benfica and Dario Essugo of Sporting CP.

Neves, 18, is a versatile central midfielder, who can play as a No.8 or a No. 6. He came through the youth ranks at Benfica and is already a first-team player, having made 25 senior appearances in which he has a goal and two assists.

Like Neves, Essuogo is also 18 years of age and is a defensive midfielder who has progressed through the academy of Sporting CP and has already made his senior breakthrough, racking up 12 appearances thus far.

Dario Essugo being tracked by Barcelona. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Options for the future

Both Neves and Essuogo are not immediate targets for Barcelona but are being eyed as options for the future as their contract situations do not make it feasible for the club to make a move in January.

After all, Neves is tied down to Benfica until 2028, having signed a new contract only last month. Essuogo, meanwhile, has a contract with Sporting CP that runs until the summer of 2025.

For the immediate future, the Blaugrana are eyeing two free agents for the January transfer window, and it remains to be seen if they end up reinforcing the pivot midfield position.

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