Real Madrid are always alert to the talents popping up in the South American region, in particular Brazil.
Over the years, the Merengues have signed players like Vinicius Jr., Rodrygo Goes, and Reinier Jesus, while more recently they acquired the services of Endrick, who will be arriving next summer.
The Spanish capital club continue to keep an eye out on the young prospects coming through the scenes in Brazil and it appears that a new name has appeared on their radars.
Real Madrid interested in Marcos Leonardo
Indeed, as per reports from GE Globo, Real Madrid are interested in Santos striker Marcos Leonardo, who has enjoyed a productive 2023 campaign in Brazil.
The 20-year-old centre-forward has registered 21 goals and four assists from 43 matches across all competitions for Santos this season, catching the eye of Real Madrid.
As per the report, Los Blancos have already made contact with Leonardo’s agent to make enquiry regarding the player’s profile and willingness to move to Europe.
In fact, Fernando Brito, one of the young striker’s representatives, was even present at the Santiago Bernabeu last night when Los Blancos defeated SC Braga 3-0 in the UEFA Champions League.
Newcastle United also keen
However, Real Madrid are not the only club in the picture for Leonardo, as Premier League big-spenders Newcastle United have also taken a liking to the young forward.
Indeed, as per the report, days before Real Madrid’s enquiry, the Magpies too had made contact with the Brazilian prospect’s entourage to ask about him.
Meanwhile, AS Roma had also shown interest in him in the past but were shot down by Santos.
Leonardo has a contract with the Brazilian club until 2026, who own 70% of his rights. There has been no formal talk between any of the clubs at this point and it remains to be seen if there is further development from Real Madrid or Newcastle.
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.