Alisson Becker’s brother says the Liverpool goalkeeper must have contributed to the Reds’ decision to sign teenage stopper Marcelo Pitaluga.
Pitaluga trained with both Alisson and Muriel Becker at the start of the year, having also been Muriel’s teammate at Brazilian side Fluminense.
Muriel insists that Pitaluga has moved to the Reds on merit.
Yet he admits that Alisson’s links with the player meant that it is likely his brother was consulted over the player before the Reds opted to sign him.
Speaking to the Brazilian media, Muriel said: “I believe Alisson must have contributed with what he saw. Pitaluga is there on his merits. Liverpool had been watching him for a long time.
“We know closely the potential he has, the great goalkeeper he is and, even more, what he will achieve. In addition to the four lines, he’s an excellent boy, from a good family, down to earth, he’s not dazzled, he works hard.
“I’m sure he’ll make history in football. We got very happy with that. I’m also happy that he will be a teammate of Alisson, who will be able to help, accompany him.
“He’s a boy who loves to learn, is always listening and working. I’m very happy with his success, he deserves it.”
Fluminense confirmed the player’s departure on their official website, with Executive Director of Football Paulo Angioni saying: “The athlete is still going through a maturation process and would be used in the medium term.
“The club has Muriel, Marcos Felipe and João Lopes, in addition to Pedro Rangel, highly praised for the preparation of goalkeepers. We continue with a percentage, in addition to the solidarity mechanism.”
Pitaluga added: “I am very grateful to Fluminense. It was 10 years in the club, from futsal, passing through Xerém, until reaching the professional.
“I have always been treated very well and had all the necessary assistance for my development, both personally and as an athlete. This opportunity that came up will be very important to me. It was a unique opportunity, mainly for having a European passport.”