Marcelo Pitaluga has left Fluminense to complete his Liverpool transfer – and sparked a furious response from fans back in Brazil.
The Brazilian club have confirmed a fee has been agreed with the Reds for the 17-year-old goalkeeper as he flies to pen personal terms and complete his medical.
Pitaluga, who comes with a recommendation from Alisson as a team-mate of his brother for the Rio-based club, will join the Reds academy.
The deal will cost them up to £2million but is set to initially cost only £1million – and Fluminense fans are enraged by the loss of one of their top talents.
A group of supporters took to their club HQ to protest against recent sales, prompted to act by news of Pitaluga’s departure.
Another youngster, Evanlison, departed for Porto last week and the loss of Pitaluga to Anfield has come as a bitter blow.
Globo Esporte covered fans taking banners to the club branding them an “outlet store” and questioning the relationships they have with Brazilian agents.
Pitaluga traveled to England on Saturday after saying goodbyes to team-mates and staff at Fluminense’s training ground.
He is set to sign a three-year deal with Fluminense having a 25% sell-on clause if he moves on elsewhere in the future.
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“I’m very grateful to Fluminense. It was 10 years in the club, from futsal, passing through Xerém, until reaching the professionals,” Pitaluga told the Brazilian club’s website.
“I’ve always been treated very well and had all the assistance necessary for my development, both personally and as an athlete.
“This opportunity that came up will be very important to me. It was a unique opportunity, mainly because I have a European passport.”
Despite the fury of fans, Fluminense director of football Paulo Angioni defended the move.
“The athlete is still going through a maturation process and would be used in the medium term,” he explained.
“The club has Muriel, Marcos Felipe and João Lopes, in addition to Pedro Rangel, highly praised for the preparation of goalkeepers.
“We continue with a percentage, in addition to the solidarity mechanism.”
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