Real Madrid are expected to complete the signing of Boca Juniors wonderkid Rodrigo Bentancur this week for nearly £10m (€13m).
Real are deep in talks with Argentine giants Boca over the 18-year-old Uruguayan, who is tipped to become one of the world’s top midfielders.
Juventus have been keeping tabs on Bentancur, and even tried to include him in the deal that took Carlos Tevez back to Buenos Aires last year, but Boca insisted on keeping the deep-lying playmaker.
Bentancur only made his professional debut a year ago and he has just 25 senior appearances under his belt. He looks set to play for Real Madrid’s second team, Castilla, who up until last month were coached by Zinedine Zidane.
While Real insist that timing of the deal has nothing to do with FIFA’s recent transfer ban, it has to have played into it.
While Bentancur has shown that he has the potential to become a star, he has only made 25 first team appearances. Playing another season for one of South America’s biggest clubs would surely speed up his development more than a season playing for Real’s Castilla side.
But if that happens, Real Madrid were facing the possibility of not being able to sign Bentancur in 12 months. Hence the decision to sign him now instead of waiting until he further develops and possibly missing out on him.
This is a tactic that Real have been using with more frequency recently as they have obviously tried to get ahead of the transfer ban by signing some of the most promising youngsters around.The signing of Norwegian 16-year-old Martin Odegaard in 2015 as well as the purchases of youngsters Jesus Vallejo and Dario Ramos over the summer are examples of this.