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Last Updated: Monday, 18 August, 2003, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Spurs bid for Brazilian wonderkid
Exclusive by John Sinnott

Santos starlet Diego

Spurs have made a 5.6m bid for Santos teenager Diego - one of the most highly-rated young players in Brazil.

Eighteen-year-old Diego, who wears the Santos number 10 shirt which once belonged to Pele, has already broken into the full Brazil squad.

BBC Sport understands two Spurs representatives met with Santos president Marcelo Teixeira last Thursday to discuss the Premiership club's bid for the midfielder.

The Santos playmaker, nicknamed ''Zidane Jr'' after World Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane, is in the second year of a five-year contract with the Brazilian club.

Diego was the key player in the Santos team that won last year's Brazilian Championship, and then went all the way to the final of the Copa Libertadores, South America's Champions League.

Santos have always maintained Diego is not for sale, but the Brazilian club may find it difficult to fend off a big offer from a European club.

Spurs director of football David Pleat refused to confirm or deny the story, but admitted: "I have seen some league and cup games in Brazil and I also saw some teams training.

"I was very impressed with the quality that I saw. I also had a couple of informal discussions."

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