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REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: Lucas Silva in limbo as Zidane looks to thin out squad

The midfielder is still officially a Real Madrid player but cannot train as he has no work permit. The club are looking for a taker for the 26-year-old.

Real Madrid: Lucas Silva in limbo as Zidane looks to thin out squad

Zinedine Zidane has only a few days left to trim his squad before the European transfer window closes and while Mariano remains the primary target on the Frenchman’s exit door list, there is a player on the books at the Bernabéu who has largely been forgotten about in the Spanish capital.

Lucas Silva made his last appearance for Madrid on April 29, 2015, as a second half substitute in a 3-0 victory over Almería. That was the last the Bernabéu saw of the 26-year-old, who had arrived in the Spanish capital a few months earlier from Cruzeiro for a fee of €14m and a Série A title in his pocket, as well as having been named the best defensive midfielder in the Brazilian top flight that season.

A disastrous loan to Marseille followed before Silva’s European nightmare continued when a proposed move to Sporting Lisbon feel through after he was diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia and forced to take six months out of the game. He eventually returned to Cruzeiro in January 2017, where his career took off again with the midfielder starting regularly for the side and winning the Copa do Brasil in 2017 and 2018.

No Silva lining on the horizon for Lucas

But although Cruzeiro were more than happy to sign Silva up for another year on loan, Real Madrid decided they would prefer a permanent transfer. Now, with the Brazilian transfer market shut for business and only a few days left of the European bazaar, Silva is in limbo in Madrid with no work permit and therefore prevented from training with his teammates or reporting to Valdebebas by EU labour regulations. At the moment, he is working alone with a personal trainer to stay in shape.

Genoa and Atalanta are reportedly interested in the midfielder and Zidane certainly has no intention of welcoming back into the fold as he looks to get his squad down to 25 players before the window shuts. If Silva has failed to engineer an exit before September 2, he faces a season on the sidelines as his contract with Madrid is still active and runs until next summer.