Leandro Damiao Agrees to Deal with Brazilian Club Santos

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2013

CAXIAS DO SUL, BRAZIL - OCTOBER 06: Leandro Euzebio of Fluminense fights for the ball Leandro Damiao player of Internacional during the match betwenn Internacional and Fluminense for the Brazilian Series A 2013 on October 06, 2013 in Caxias do Sul, Brazil. (Photo by Edu Andrade/Getty Images)
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Leandro Damiao will continue to play his club football in Brazil despite Premier League interest after it was announced he'll be joining Santos from Internacional.

Sam Rhodes of The Telegraph passed along the news:

Tottenham are longtime admirers of the talented striker. Jamie Sanderson of the Metro reports Spurs were expected to make another effort to sign him next month after falling short during previous windows, but were beat to the punch by Santos.

Andre Villas-Boas has made no secret of his interest in Damiao, while Spurs were thought to be close to bagging him last summer, with a £20million fee being talked up.

However, despite the 24-year-old admitting his desire to play in the Premier League, he is now set to stay in Brazil for the foreseeable future.

Damiao had spent the first four years of his career with Internacional, quickly developing into one of the most coveted young strikers in the region. He struggled to maintain top form throughout 2013, however, which made it easier for the club to part ways with him.

But instead of heading for England, he joins a Santos side that finished seventh in the Brasileirao. He will be expected to bolster an attack that finished with 51 goals in 38 matches, well off the scoring pace set by Cruzeiro and Atletico Paranaense.    

The 24-year-old rising star also had to keep the World Cup in mind when it came to finding a new club. He's part of a loaded forward group for Brazil and not all of them will earn a spot on the final roster, so he needs consistent playing time to showcase top form before next summer.

For Spurs, the search for more attacking options will continue in January after a sluggish start to the campaign offensively. Damiao would have certainly been an intriguing option once again if he were still on the market.

Now that he has secured a move to Santos, however, Tottenham will be forced to look elsewhere.