Real Madrid have asked Benfica about including a right to first refusal on the promising young defender as part of the deal for Lisbon-bound Raúl De Tomás.
Negotiations between Real Madrid and Benfica on the transfer of Raúl de Tomás to the Lisbon-based club are expected to be finalised this week and the deal could feature an unexpected twist.
As the clubs negotiated the price for the striker - understood to be around 20 million euros - another player came up in the talks: Benfica defender Rúben Dias.
As part of the deal for De Tomás, Madrid have asked about the possibility of including a right to first refusal for the 22-year-old Portuguese international, another gem that has come out of Benfica’s youth academy.
Madrid is not on the lookout for a centre-back right now as they already have Ramos, Varane, Nacho, Militao and Vallejo on the payroll. But the club is keen to keep track of Benfica’s promising young defender, who, with a release a clause set at 60 million euros, is also of interest to Atlético Madrid.
Benfica-Real Madrid relations
Relations between Madrid and Benfica had turned sour over the transfer of former Blancos player Ezequiel Garay from Benfica to Zenit St Petersburg in 2014. The two clubs ended up in the courts with Madrid, who received half of the Garay transfer fee due to a sell-on clause included in the original deal, claiming that Benfica had sold the player significantly under his real market value.
Considering the poor relations between the clubs over the Garay saga, the fact that Madrid are negotiating with Benfica over De Tomás is likely because the offer from the Portuguese club has been the best they have received for the player, who spent last season on loan at newly relegated Rayo de Vallecano.
De Tomás is set to be the second player released by Real Madrid after Atlético-bound Marcos Llorente (30 million euros) as part of ‘Operation Exit’, which has so far moved slower than expected.