Inside Real Madrids 51million transfer hijack as deal agreed
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Palmeiras striker Endrick, 16, is set to sign a pre-contract agreement with Real Madrid through to the summer of 2030 despite Barcelonas public admiration of the player
Brazilian wonderkid Endrick is set to joinReal Madridin a deal worth up to 51million from Palmeiras despite a concentrated effort fromBarcelonato land the 16-year-old.
Endrick was hugely admired bya number of clubs in the Premier League- includingandArsenal.However, it was always the two El Clasico rivals who were frontrunners for his signature with the Brazilian having a clear idea of his next destination.
The prolific striker was named the Player of the Tournament when they lifted the Copa Sao Paulo de Futebol Junior - a Sao Paulo-based youth cup - earlier this year, breaking multiple goal-scoring records in the process. He has already bagged three goals in seven first-team appearances for Palmeiras.
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The Brazilian clubs contract with the teenager includes a 51million release clause, which Real Madrid have now met. As detailed byMarca, 30m of that sum will be a straight-up fee while 21m will be comprised of add-ons of varying difficulty, but are anticipated to be paid in full.
The 16-year-old will not be able to join the Spanish giants until the summer of 2024, when he will celebrate his 18th birthday and thus be cleared for a relevant work permit, meaning that he will spend the next two calendar years in the first team of Palmeiras. He has been called up to Brazils Under-20 squad for the South American Championships, having scored five goals in four appearances for the Under-17 team. The contract will last six seasons, from 2024 through to 2030.
Real Madrid will clinch the signing of Endrick despite fierce competition from Barcelona, who launched a prolonged charm offensive in their attempts to sign the player. Barca boss Xavi Hernandez confirmed in an interview withESPNa fortnight ago that he had been talking to the player and his father.
Have Your Say!Is 51million for Brazilian talent Endrick a good deal for Real Madrid?Tell us what you think here.
[We] have been talking with his father and also directly with the player too. I explained the project at Barcelona. Xavi explained. We want talented players, and he is a talent, capable of making difference. He has the great finishing, dribbling and a capacity to make a difference on the pitch. He is a player already of the present, playing in the Brazilian league, and also the future.
Xavis strongly-worded public intentions of signing the player saw him continue: He is a kind of player that we need. The Barca boss added. He already knows the project we have at Barcelona and we are talking. I hope he becomes our player. It depends on him. This kind of thing always depends on the player. Normally, a player ends up playing where he wants to play, so it is a very personal decision of Endrick.
The Barca coach first met with the Brazilian on February 18 earlier this year, the day after Endrick watched on from the Camp Nou stands as Barcelona played Napoli in the Europa League. He was in Europe with his family after starring as Palmeiras won the 2022 Sao Paulo Junior Cup and had watched Paris Saint-Germain beat Real Madrid 1-0 in the first leg of theirChampions LeagueRound of 16 tie earlier that week.
Together with his parents, Douglas de Sousa and Cintia Moreira, his little brother Noah and extended family, Endrick spoke to fellow Brazilian Dani Alves at the end of that game against Napoli and the club gave him a tour of their facilities the following day.
It was here that he spoke to Xavi, whose initially informal chat with the player developed into a full pitch of why Endrick should consider joining the Blaugrana with details of how he would fit in at the club and develop as a player.
This was prior to Endricks first professional contract with Palmeiras signed in June, and including the 51million release clause while the player immediately left for Madrid, to watch Real Madrid play Alaves before returning home. At that time, there was no chat with officials of the Spanish capital club.
Endricks preference was always in joining Real Madrid, who launched a strategy which lasted over six months of speaking to his entourage and listening to the conditions of a signing. The most eye-catchingrequest from the player was that Madrid do not sign Erling HaalandfromManchester City,as they believed this would be a stylistic clash that would hinder his development.
Xavis public declarations of his admiration were a last-ditch attempt to change Endricks mind and outline exactly how he valued he was valued by Barcelona but it was too late to change the players decision and he is on the verge of agreeing a pre-contract with rivals Real Madrid.
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