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Kenedy: Why Inter Milan and Man Utd are fighting over the 'new Hulk'

We should know in weeks, perhaps just days, whether Fluminense will allow their young striker Kenedy to move to Europe this summer.

tribalfootball.com can reveal Flu are currently in the middle of negotiations with European-based agents over representation for this summer's transfer window. Agents boasting major connections with Italian and English football are now seeking authorisation from Flu to negotiate Kenedy's sale on their behalf.

We've learned a decision from the Brazilian giants over whether to cash in on the teenager this year will soon be made.

Having fended off proposals from Wolfsburg and Espanyol during the winter transfer window, the situation has since changed for Flu. An impressive U20 South American Championships has flushed out bigger suitors, with Manchester United and Inter Milan now coming forward seeking more information about Kenedy and his availability.

It was only a year ago, at 17, Kenedy earned promotion from Flu's celebrated Xerem youth setup. Former Flu coach Abel Braga, now in charge of Internacional, considered a call-up last season, but chose to leave Kenedy at Xerem with him heavily involved in qualifiers for Brazil's U20 and U17 teams.

Indeed, it's was with the national teams that Kenedy earned his big break. Rejected as a junior by Atletico MG, Kenedy was also on the brink of being cut from Flu's youth team only two years ago - but for the feedback his coaches received from national team trials.

While he was struggling to make an impression at Xerem, the experience with Selecao coaching staff could not have been more different. Soon it was being relayed back to Flu that not only did they have one of Brazil's best young talents on their hands, but that Kenedy would be a match for anyone at his age anywhere in South America.

Klauss Camara, a former junior coach at Xerem, always believed in Kenedy's potential and was delighted to have his opinion confirmed by national team coaches.

"Kenedy was undoubtedly the best athlete I've ever worked with and the one with the greatest potential. He has strength, speed, technique, the lot," enthused Camara.

"He is a modern player, extremely competitive. Everything a coach today would like to see, he is. The potential he has is very big."

Xerem staff admit going away with the national team was just what Kenedy needed. He would always return showing improvement, particularly in terms of tactical awareness and his work off the ball.

"He can now play at different speeds," continues Camara. "He has great pace, he can accelerate, change direction all while controlling the ball. He heads well, finishes well, dribbles well. He can act as a striker or on the wing. He's learning how to play in different roles."

Although he's barely had a half season of senior football, at Flu, Kenedy is already being likened to some of their modern day greats. He sparked controversy earlier this term when putting his finger to his lips to hush the home crowd after they jeered a substitution.

Mario Bittencourt, the club's vice-president, conceded Kenedy was wrong, but also sought to excuse him citing examples of past crowd favourites.

"It was wrong to do so, because we are all here just passing, but the crowd stays and is the greatest asset of the club. We hope the fans understand, but it's a typical thing for an attacker. Renato was so, Romario, Edmundo himself, who also went through here ... And they were athletes who were leaders on the pitch. It is very characteristic of a striker. He understood he was wrong and I'm sure the fans next time will support him."

And they do - not the least because of Kenedy's engaging personality. He is always interacting with fans on social media and can be spotted regularly at supporter gatherings and functions.

Standing at almost 6ft, Kenedy has drawn comparisons with Zenit St Petersburg powerhouse Hulk and did his reputation no harm when hitting a screamer for Brazil U20 in victory over Venezuela at last month's tournament. The effort flew in from well outside the penalty area and was recorded at a speed of 110.6 km/hr.

Former Brazil coach Roger Flores, who covered the South America Championship for local TV, is a Kenedy fan and recalled: "It was a goal typical of Kenedy. There he is, charging at the defence, the defenders backing off. He was 27.3m from the goal, the power of the shot reached 110.6 km/hr.

"That boy must have been doing weight training since he was five years old!"

Flores added: "When Kenedy was on the field, Brazil were always more dangerous. They improved technically when he was playing."

It was his campaign in Uruguay which brought him to the attention of United and Inter. The Premier League giants hope to use their long-standing relationship with Flu's board, which dates back to negotiations for the Da Silva twins, Rafael and Fabio, in 2008.

But among the agents battling for a mandate to take Kenedy to Europe are representatives close to Roberto Mancini, the Inter coach, and should negotiations go their way, it will be the Nerazzurri which will be offered first refusal.

As Camara would happily inform any potential buyer: "He's complete. It's that simple. We can talk about ability and technique, but he also has competitiveness. He never gives up. With maturity, you're talking about a very, very talented professional."

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