FIFA U17 World Cup: Real Madrid reportedly reach verbal agreement to sign Brazil U17 star Alan from Palmeiras
What's the story?
Fresh from signing his Brazil U17 teammate Vinicius Junior earlier this year, Real Madrid are set to rope in Alan as well, if a report from Spanish publication AS is to be believed. Alan has been a real star as Brazil U17s booked their quarterfinal place at the ongoing FIFA U17 World Cup, setting up the opening goal for Brenner in the Canarinhos' 3-0 win over Honduras in the Round of 16.
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Alan is currently on the books of Palmeiras and any deal with Real Madrid is likely to be completed once the player turns 18 due to FIFA's strict rules on transfer of minors. The 17-year-old floats around like a classic playmaker and has made a name for himself at the FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 after shining at the South American U17 Championship earlier this year.
The heart of the matter
Although the player dreams of putting on the Real Madrid or Barcelona shirt one day, he said to FIFA's official website after Brazil U17s' 3-0 win over Honduras on Wednesday: "Palmeiras’ fans already know who I am; I want to break into their senior team first before making any kind of move, and if I do well at the U-17 World Cup maybe that’ll happen. I’m in no hurry to leave the club," suggesting that he will be allowed to stay at his current club for the time being even if the transfer is completed, just like Vinicius' case.
The shortest player in the Brazil squad, Alan has drawn comparisons to compatriot Philippe Coutinho, whom Barcelona tried to sign last summer, and Andres Iniesta, whom he considers his favourite player.
Scouts from top clubs have been on their toes in what has been the most spread-out FIFA U17 World Cup ever. India 2017 has staged matches in all four corners of the country and top clubs have sent in more than a handful of watchers to keep tabs on the future stars, one among which is Alan.
According to Alfredo Relano of AS, Real Madrid's signings of Alan and Vinicius before him are preventive signings by the club to not allow their rivals like Barcelona to poach them in the future.
Alan's Brazil will take on Germany in a high-voltage quarterfinal clash in Kolkata on Sunday and the Canarinhos will need the pint-sized playmaker to be in his elements to get through to the semis.
The discovery of players at an age-group tournament like the FIFA U17 World Cup is no surprise, as has been the case in the past. Alan, alongside teammate Lincoln, has been on the radar of Real Madrid since the South American Championship, while Vitinho is reportedly close to agreeing on terms with Manchester City.
India 2017 has seen some wonderful football from wonder kids. Alan is one such wonder kid and Indian football fans could be said to be lucky enough to watch a big star of the future if the reported move to Real Madrid is any indication.