Reports: Real Madrid set to hijack Barcelona's move for Spanish wonderkid
What's the story?
FC Barcelona's move for Osasuna's 16-year-old defender Iker San Vicente has hit the roadblock, with Real Madrid and Juventus battling for his signature as well, according to a report in Spanish news outlet, SPORT. The youngster has refused to sign professional terms with Osasuna, and given his obvious talent, was close to a move to Barcelona.
However, Real Madrid and Juventus are reportedly offering the youngster a greater salary and guarantees of fast-tracking his chances for a first-team place. Barcelona are desperate not to lose out on the youngster, who has been rated the best Spanish defender coming through.
In case you didn't know...
Standing 1.90m tall, despite being only 16 years old, Iker San Vicente is the most promising product to come out of Osasuna's academy. The youngster has captained the youth teams on occasion, with his composed style of play earning plenty of plaudits. Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao reportedly tried to steal the youngster away last year, only for the centre-back to commit himself to the club he was developed at.
The heart of the matter
Osasuna have offered Vicente rolling contracts every year, as Spain's laws prevent them from offering professional terms until the age of 16. The Pamplona club offered the defender a 2-year contract with a release clause, so as to not lose out on any potential revenue from his sale, but Vicente has turned down their offer, reportedly angering the hierarchy within the club.
The report states that Osasuna are likely to go to RFEF tribunal for a fee if any of Real Madrid, Barcelona or Juventus sign him, since they have spent over €1 million on his development only to lose out.
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Abel Salcedo, Barcelona's scout in the Basque region, alerted the Catalans to Vicente's availability, with the La Liga giants needing him to partner Rodrigo Tarin at the heart of Barcelona B's defence. Real Madrid are also offering to sign him for Castilla, although the prospect of working under Guti seems to have tempted the youngster into considering Los Blancos' offer.
The youngster has reportedly been excluded from training with Osasuna's youth setup, and thus has to make a decision on his future sooner rather than later.
Ousmane Dembele cost Borussia Dortmund €15 million to sign from Rennes, and was sold a year later for €105 million, with €45 million in add-ons. Clubs have to bet on youngsters now from an extremely early age, so as to avoid paying massive fees in the future. Vicente is considered one of the most promising young defenders in Spain, and signing him up now for free could prove to be a bargain in the future.