Real Madrid to sign Flamengo's Vinicius Junior, 16, for €45m - reports
Real Madrid have agreed a €45 million deal to sign 16-year-old forward Vinicius Junior from Flamengo, according to widespread reports in both Spain and Brazil.
Globoesporte reported on Monday that Vinicius has undergone a medical at Madrid, with the club having upped their offer to well over the €30 million release clause which Barcelona were willing to pay.
The youngster was both top scorer and player of the tournament as Brazil won the 2017 South American Under-17 Championship in March, but has yet to make his senior club debut.
His move to Madrid will reportedly not be formalised until July 2018, when he turns 18 years old, to comply with FIFA youth transfer regulations.
Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, however, refused to comment on the speculation when asked at a news conference on Tuesday ahead of his side's Champions League semifinal second leg with Atletico Madrid.
"As you know well, there is talk about this player, but I do not know him personally," he said. "I am just thinking about tomorrow's game. So I will not answer your question."
Vinicius told a Globoesporte reporter at a Rio de Janeiro hospital, where the medical reportedly took place, that he was happy Flamengo had won the Campeonato Carioca, and was now looking forward to taking part in the 2017 Campeonato Brasileiro.
"I'm still happy about yesterday's title and I woke up early to do some tests," he said. "I'm really excited to be going professional and to be playing in the Brasileirao."
Marca featured Vinicius on its front cover on Tuesday, along with Madrid's other reported planned summer capture, Theo Hernandez of Atletico Madrid.
poRTada de Marca pic.twitter.com/JfbYcSjxtW- J. I. Gallardo (@JIGallardo) May 8, 2017
Amid all the speculation on both sides of the Atlantic, Vinicius tweeted: "Beloved God, thanks for listening to me, protecting me, and doing everything to see me smile."
Querido Deus, graças te dou por me ouvir, me guarda e por fazer de tudo para me ver sorrir!! ⚽️⚽️⚽️- Vinicius Junior (@vini11Oficial) May 8, 2017
Barcelona had previously been linked with a move for Vinicius -- dubbed the "new Neymar" -- and the club's South American representative Andre Cury was reportedly involved in preliminary talks with Flamengo and the player's agents at Traffic.
Mundo Deportivo now claims Madrid president Florentino Perez has completed a deal -- using experienced agent and Neymar advisor Wagner Ribeiro -- to sign Vinicius, in which a total of €62m will be paid by the club to the various parties involved.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan