In collaboration with GOAL light Football zone regularly out young players who can go far in the future or who are already earning their spurs in (inter)national top football. This time, the focus is on 17-year-old attacker Sávio Moreira de Oliveira – Sávio or Savinho for short – who, according to transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano, will make the switch from Atlético Mineiro to Manchester City next summer for 6.5 million euros.
Manchester City and the City Football Group, the football empire behind the Citizens, have made no secret of their desire to attract as many talented young South Americans as possible. Due to the Brexit rules, it is now much easier for City to attract teenage talent from Brazil and Argentina than from Europe. The current Premier League leader does not hesitate to transfer these talents directly to one of the branches of the City Football Group, which includes ESTAC Troyes (France), Melbourne City (Australia), Montevideo City Torque (Uruguay), Bolivar (Bolivia ), New York City (United States), Mumbai City (India), Girona (Spain), Yokohama Marinos (Japan), Sichuan Jiuniu (China) and Lommel SK (Belgium).
Kayky, Yan Couto, Talles Magno and Metinho are just some of the Brazilian players who have joined clubs owned by the City Football Group in recent years, while Argentine teenager Dario Sarmiento was acquired by the Premier League club in 2021 from Estudiantes. The next player in this group should be Savio, as City Football Group have reached an agreement with Atlético Mineiro on a €6.5million transfer fee to sign the winger. That amount can increase by six million euros due to various bonuses. Sávio is expected to join Troyes next summer.
City’s owners have acted quickly to sign a player who has been making waves in Brazilian youth football for several years. Arsenal would also have been interested in the teenage talent, while PSV seemed to have the best papers for a long time to hire Savio from City next summer. romano, Football International and the Eindhovens Dagblad recently reported that PSV was in talks with Manchester City about hiring the winger. It was intended that Sávio would join Jong PSV in Eindhoven, for a storage fee and possibly a percentage of any future transfer. City has according to GOAL apparently decided that Sávio will not leave for PSV, but for Troyes. Due to his age and origin, Sávio is not yet eligible for a work permit in England, which means that he will make playing minutes elsewhere.
Sávio joined Atlético Mineiro’s youth academy in 2015 at the age of 11 and was immediately transferred to the Under 13s. “He is from São Mateus, Espirito Santo. He played for an association there and then they came here in Belo Horizonte to play against Atlético and Cruzeiro,” his agent Juliano Rodrigues told GOAL† “I saw that he had quality and advised Fred Cascardo, at the time, the youth academy at Atlético, to sign him immediately.” Sávio always played with older team-mates throughout his time in Atlético’s youth academy and he stood out for his ball skills with his favorite left leg.
The top talent regularly played from the right, then cut in to score goals and provide assists, as did one of his football idols, Arjen Robben. He is also compared to Antony, who is currently causing a furore at Ajax and the Brazilian national team. Sávio himself can call himself a youth international. He was part of the squad that won the 2019 South American Under-15 Championship. A year later, he signed his first professional contract with Atlético – a deal that caught the attention of the wider Brazilian public due to the €60 million escape clause it contained.
Thanks to the salary he was earning at the time, Sávio was able to fulfill a dream: buying a house for his mother. “He is very attached to his mother, she helps him a lot,” explains Rodrigues. Sávio’s mother also takes an active role in managing his finances, so as not to let her son’s lifestyle get out of hand. On the pitch, the talent first got the chance to play against the Atlético first team in training matches in 2020, where he quickly fell for head coach Jorge Sampaoli. The Argentine coach was previously active with Santos when Rodrygo broke through in the first team before moving to Real Madrid. GOAL has been told that he more than once described Savio as “much better” than the 21-year-old winger of the Royal†
“Savio is a very young player, who has a great future,” said Sampaoli after giving the youngster his basic debut in Brazil’s Série A in October 2020. “He trained with his teammates and we know his abilities. We have a lot of confidence in him for the future.” While Sávio has learned a lot from playing with and against the first team, he has really learned within the youth academy what it takes to be successful at Atlético. “In my time, he was always very prominent,” former youth academy director, Junior Chávare??, tells. GOAL† “He was a very dedicated and professional youth player, despite his young age.”
Sampaoli left Atlético ahead of the 2021/22 season to join Olympique Marseille. His successor Cuca gave Atlético its first league title in fifty years and gave Sávio playing minutes in 13 official games this season. Since this calendar year, there has been a new trainer for the group in the person of Antonio Mohamed. The 17-year-old attacker has to make do with a supporting role under the Argentine coach, although that could be in part as he is on the cusp of leaving the club. Anyway, it seems that the City Football Group has brought in another South American growth brilliance. Now the challenge for Savio begins to prove he can make it at Manchester City.