A Euro kind of summer always takes the attention away from South American players and especially leagues come the transfer time, but that doesn’t last long. Paulo Henrique Ganso, one of the crown jewels of Brazil’s new generation (along with teammate Neymar, THE crown jewel), seems to be the first big name looking to leave Santos and make his way to Europe.

The 22 year old attacking midfielder, who was part of Brazil’s disappointing 2011 Copa America venture, refused to sign a contract extension with Santos, which leaves 2015 as the expiry date. Still three years from now, but this does suggest that Ganso has set his sights on a European transfer, with a multitude of clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Real Madrid and Porto chasing him

Ganso, like many South American players in the past few years, isn’t completely owned by the team. The salaries in Brazil have made a sharp turn towards the expensive side, with clubs aided by outside companies, funding some of the salaries in exchange for certain economic rights. DIS Esporte, a private football investment fund, owns 45% of Ganso’s economic rights, also having a stake in Neymar’s future transfer fee.

Ganso was reportedly offered quite an impressive contract, worth around £112,000 a month, which sounds astronimical, especially considering that this is Brazil and not the English Premeir League. Ronaldinho earned much more with Flamengo, with the club using an outside firm to help then to pay the wages. We know how that turned out. But this isn’t about the problems in Brazilian football and its financial structure. This is about aspirations.

After winning the Copa Libertadores and reaching the Club World Cup final, in truth, there wasn’t much left for the young Santos stars to achieve. Their start in the 2012 Brasileiro, failing to win once in their first seven matches, drawing five of those games, might suggest where the wind is blowing.

The Neymar camp is relatively silent, but we all know that at the first sign, the check books in Europe will open up. For now, both he and Ganso are staying, but after the Olympic Games in London, which its safe to assume will showcase both players in the football tournament, we’ll probably be wiser about the direction and intention of both young stars.

Image: Source