Real Madrid have made it a point to keep tabs on the best young talents coming up in the South American footballing scenes.
It has helped them seal the signings of Vinicius Jr., Rodrygo Goes, Reinier Jesus, and more recently, Endrick, who will be arriving at the club next summer.
Los Blancos have continued to keep an eye on the South American market, but one of the players that they had their eyes on appears set to move elsewhere.
Gianluca Prestianni headed for SL Benfica
Indeed, as per SPORT, Velez Sarsfield forward Gianluca Prestianni, who was on the radars of both Real Madrid as well as FC Barcelona, is on his way to SL Benfica.
Prestianni had been linked with Real Madrid and there had been reports of contact being made prior to the January transfer window earlier this year.
However, the 17-year-old is now likely on his way to Benfica.
Velez Sarsfield president Fabián Berlanga confirmed that they have an offer from the Portuguese outfit and there is already a pre-agreement over a transfer.
If everything goes to plan, Prestianni will be leaving Velez for Benfica after January 31 when he turns 18 years old.
“There is an offer from Benfica and, of course, we are analysing it. We are not going to stop the sale of the player because we need the money,” Berlanga said.
“He can’t leave until that date because he is a minor, but there is a pre-agreement. With the money obtained, we have to cover some of the needs of the squad.”
As per the report, Benfica will be paying a fee of €8 million to acquire 85% of the teenager’s rights from Velez Sarsfield.
Real Madrid youngster in line for significant minutes against Granada – report
Nico Paz was long hyped as Real Madrid Castilla’s brightest upcoming star. The media constantly kept the spotlight on the young Argentine through pre-season as he made a strong impression under Carlo Ancelotti in preseason.
His breakthrough eventually arrived, courtesy of Real Madrid’s injury crisis. He has now made two appearances for the team in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League and even recorded his first goal for the club earlier this week against Napoli.
Taking his chances
As revealed by AS (h/t The Madrid Zone), Paz has impressed management with his cameo against Napoli and will be called up for Real Madrid’s clash against Granada tomorrow.
In fact, there is a good chance he sees significant game time on the night.
After all, Ancelotti is without the likes of Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in the middle of the park.
With Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos, Federico Valverde, and Jude Bellingham filling the starting spots, Paz serves as the manager’s first-choice backup off the bench.
Paz voices his elation
Paz’s introduction against Napoli changed the texture of the game, and it was only poetic that he got the goal that put Real Madrid ahead again on the night.
Speaking to the media after his special night, the Castilla star did not hold back on his emotions.
“This is a dream. For a moment I didn’t even believe it. Very happy to be able to help the team. I dared. I was in automatic mode, I didn’t even know what I was doing. I hit it and well.”
“This is also a message for the other youth players: it is possible to get there. Ancelotti congratulated me, and the whole staff. They are an incredible group and I want to thank them all,” he added, urging his Castilla teammates to keep pushing.