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Real Madrid at the risk of losing 17-year-old academy crown jewel

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Photo by Ricardo Nascimento/Getty Images for DFB

Of the many talents in Real Madrid’s academy, Paulo Iago has been seen as one of the crown jewels for long.

The midfielder is one of La Fabrica’s best-ever talents, and at 17 years of age, has shone at multiple levels for the academy. His speed, agility, dribbling prowess and awareness on the ball made him a special talent, one which many compared to Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal.

In over ten years at the club, Iago has scored over 200 goals for Real Madrid at various levels and he even made it to Alvaro Arbeloa’s Juvenil A setup despite being under-age.

Now, in a startling turn of events, AS reports that Real Madrid are close to losing the youngster as he feels undervalued by the club.

A heartbreaking injury

Iago’s growth at Real Madrid was exceeding all expectations and a step up to the first team was not far away.

An untimely ankle injury and his return from the U17 World Cup, however, hampered his development at the club for he never completely recovered from the setback.

His inability to return to 100% changed everything for the teenager, and he was slowly relegated to the bench from the position of an undisputed starter.

Paulo Iago (R) could leave Real Madrid. (Photo by Ricardo Nascimento/Getty Images for DFB)

Suddenly, Arbeloa’s trust in the youngster faded away, and the administration never explained to the player why his role was on the decline.

Even his few minutes on the field came as a player glued to the right wing, a position foreign to the youngster. Needless to say, the sequence of events has triggered the player to look for greener pastures.

On his way out

The Spanish outlet further relays that the youngster, advised by his agent Jorge Mendes, spoke to his family and talked about an exit from the club owing to a lack of minutes.

Rumours of his departure have set the alarm bells in Madrid ringing, with his manager immediately reinstating Iago’s position and prominence. However, the reaction appears to have come too late.

Wounded by his treatment at the club, the forward now has his heart on making a move away from the Spanish capital. He has attracted interest from clubs in Germany, England, and Italy that appeal to him.

More importantly, the arrival of players like Arda Guler directly threatens his promotion to the first team in the future.

Iago is still in Real Madrid’s grip, but retaining him will be far from simple. Negotiations between Mendes and Jose Angel Sanchez will be held, and it remains to be seen what comes of it.

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid squad list announced for Real Betis clash

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid will face off against Real Betis in their final La Liga encounter of the 2023/24 season tomorrow at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Having already been crowned the champions of Spain, Los Blancos will use this game as final preparation for the big one – the UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund on June 1.

It will also be the final home game for Real Madrid legend Toni Kroos, who will be retiring this summer.

The German international has been named in the squad list and will get his chance to say goodbye to the Santiago Bernabeu faithful tomorrow.

Nacho Fernandez might also be playing his final game at the home of Real Madrid with his contract expiring at the end of the season and no renewal discussed.

Kepa Arrizabalaga, who will return to Chelsea after his loan spell, may also feature while youngster Mario Martin could get minutes in a third successive match.

David Alaba and Aurelien Tchouameni are the only two absentees for Real Madrid, with the pair set to miss the UCL final as well.

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