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SOCCER

Real Madrid beat off competition from Barcelona and PSG to land Endrick

Both the player and his family want to join Real Madrid. The Spanish club will pay the €60 million release clause.

Update:
Soccer Football - Brasileiro Championship - Palmeiras v Fortaleza -  Allianz Parque, Sao Paulo, Brazil - November 2, 2022 Palmeiras' Endrick celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammates REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli
AMANDA PEROBELLIREUTERS

Real Madrid look to have beaten PSG, Chelsea and Barcelona in the race to sign Endrick. The 16-year-old Brazilian wonderkid has made his decision and his desire is to play for Los Blancos from 2024.

Madrid would have liked to lower the figure of €60 million in the player’s release clause, but the bidding for the player has forced them to accept the figure, according to the reputable journalist Fabrizio Romano and later confirmed by AS.

As this newspaper understands, it has not been the economic issue that has tipped the balance in favour of Real Madrid, as other bidders such as Chelsea or PSG could have reached that amount without any problem, but the weight of the Madrid project.

Arriving in 2024

The player’s family believes that Real Madrid is the destination that can most enhance Endrick’s development. The fact of having Vinicius, with whom he shares a representation agency, and Rodrygo, also plays a role. In both cases, Madrid bet heavily on their signings, paying €45 and €40 million respectively, despite being teenagers at the time. Endrick will not arrive in Madrid until the summer of 2024. He will turn 18 on 21 July 2024.

Nothing has been signed yet, but it is hoped that the announcement will not take too long. One of the key factors that has accelerated everything in the last week, according to this newspaper, has been the presence of Juni Calafat in Qatar. During the World Cup, Madrid’s chief scout met with Frederico Pena, Endrick’s representative, and Vini, and steps were taken to move closer to closing the deal.

Barcelona and PSG interest

PSG were the first to move, with an offer of €80 million in an attempt to secure the Endrick-Estevão package (the other talent in the Palmeiras youth academy). The attempt received a ‘no’. Barça, with Xavi at the helm, have also moved. “We have been talking to his father and also directly to the player. I explained the project we have at Barcelona. We want talent and he is a talent, capable of making a difference. He is a player who is already playing in the Brazilian league and is also one for the future”, the Barça coach told ESPN. However, at the same time, Real Madrid have continued to take firm steps to convince Endrick and his entourage. These talks have been fruitful and have helped convince Endrick to choose Madrid.

Big deal for Palmeiras

In July Palmeiras moved quickly to close the aforementioned contract, which raised his termination clause to the current €60 million. The final fee, as soon as it becomes official, will make Endrick the most expensive sale in the history of the Verdão, surpassing the €32.5 million paid by Manchester City in 2016 to buy Gabriel Jesus. Meanwhile, Endrick, on holiday until his return to Palmeiras on 2 January, continues to receive recognition and, having outgrown his age group, has been called up to Brazil Under-20s for the first time. He is part of the squad called up by Ramon Menezes for the South American U-20 Championship that will take place between 19 January and 12 February.

Endrick is a record-breaker. With Palmeiras, he was the first player to win a title for the club at all levels (U-11, U-13, U-15, U-17, U-20 and senior). He was also the youngest debutant with the first team (16 years, two months and 15 days) and the youngest goalscorer (16 years, three months and four days).

With the first team, he has scored three goals and provided one assist in just 306 minutes, playing a part in a goal every 76.5 minutes.

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