Brazilian football club Santos confirmed Friday that it had reached a deal to send 17-year-old star forward Rodrygo to Real Madrid for a record transfer fee.
“This is the biggest deal … for a club in the entire history of Latin American soccer,” the club said in a statement, without specifying the figures, reported Efe.
Santos said that under the terms of the agreement, Rodrygo would move to Real Madrid in July 2019.
“Santos fans will still have the pleasure of seeing Rodrygo for another year wearing our mythical jersey. We expect it to be an important period in terms of the player’s development in Brazilian soccer and sporting triumphs for Santos,” the team said in a statement.
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Although Santos did not reveal the amount of the transfer fee, press reports indicate the Brazilian club will receive €40 million (roughly $46.5 million), or 80 percent of the player’s buyout clause.
Those reports indicate that Real Madrid will need to pay a total of €54 million ($62.6 million), including payments to Rodrygo’s agents and taxes.
“Real Madrid C.F. and Santos Futebol Clube have agreed that Rodrygo Goes will play his football at Real Madrid when he reaches the legal age requirement,” the Blancos said in an announcement Friday.
Although the player would be eligible to play for Real Madrid as of January 2019, when he turns 18, the agreement in place sets out that he will join the La Liga club in July of that year.
Although Real Madrid inked a €45-million ($52.2 million) transfer deal for Vinicius Junior, a Brazilian forward for Rio club Flamengo who is set to join the Blancos next month, the recent depreciation of the real relative to the euro makes the deal reached with Santos more expensive in terms of Brazilian currency.
Rodrygo, who has drawn comparisons to Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar because of his feints and dribbling skill, is Santos’ top scorer thus far in the 2018 season with five goals and was recently called up for Brazil’s U-20 squad.
Liverpool, PSG and FC Barcelona had also expressed interest in the player.