Watford's new signing is dating a 15-year-old girl, it can be revealed.
Brazilian forward Joao Pedro, 18, has posted a photo on Instagram of him kissing soap star Mel Maia beside the Thames.
The legal age for consent in Brazil is just 14, but in the UK it is 16.
The post has been seen by the footballer’s 735,000 followers. The snap was taken on Southwark Bridge in London.
The striker, who signed for the Hornets last month, has been in a relationship with Mel since at least September.
Pedro has been wanted by Watford since 2018, before he played for Brazil’s Fluminense.
After a delay in getting a work permit he signed the five-year deal. He made his debut in Watford’s 2-1 FA Cup replay defeat to Tranmere on January 23.
Mel shot to fame in their native Brazil when she was eight, in TV’s Avenida Brasil.
Photos on Instagram show the pair together in September and October.
A Watford spokesman said: “Both Joao and his girlfriend are acutely aware of both the legality and cultural differences between the UK and Brazil. She has flown back to Brazil, will remain resident there and has no intention of returning to England until after her 16th birthday.”
The Brazilian starlet found himself at the centre of a tug of war between Manchester City and Watford last year.
But it appears Pedro had his heart set on following in the footsteps of Brazil star Richarlison, who also left Fluminense for Watford.