Uruguayan defender Jose Luis Rodriguez says he is close to agreeing a move to Real Madrid, with the formalities potentially being completed by this weekend.
The 21-year-old right-back plays for Danubio, the same Uruguayan club where famous compatriots Diego Forlan, Edinson Cavani, and Jose Gimenez started their careers.
Rodriguez, who will initially join Madrid’s Castilla side if he moves, says there was a chance a transfer could have been completed before Europe’s August 31 deadline.
“Before Aug. 31 there was the opportunity to go [to Real Madrid],” Rodriguez said to Sport 890. “My agent is talking to them now, and in these next few days I should be able to travel and try to close it.”
There is a possibility that he gets loaned back to Danubio after signing for Madrid, Rodriguez confirmed.
“Yes [coming back to Danubio is one option],” he said.
He also revealed that Los Blancos are not the only European club to have expressed an interest in the defender, although he added that only his agent knows the identity of the club.
“There is another side, but I would be lying if I told you I knew who it was.”
Rodriguez added that he’s likely to miss Danubio’s next fixture, against Boston River on Sunday, as his transfer gets finalised.
“I will not be playing in the next match, I think.
“I trained all week like normal, but not as a starter. The manager knows I won’t be starting.”
Rodriguez will have a fellow Uruguayan at Madrid in midfielder Federico Valverde, who moved to the Bernabeu in 2016 from Penarol and is currently with the club’s B side. The pair have spoken about Rodriguez’s impending move.
“Yes, I’ve talked to him,” Rodriguez said. “It’s very good to have people you know people somewhere you could end up living.”
The youngster says he’s “anxious” to complete a move to one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“We will be looking to travel soon – possibly before the weekend.
“Right now, nothing is concrete so I am very anxious.
“I lost a few a days’ sleep while I waited for this to be resolved. I have already got my bags packed – but only halfway.”
Los Blancos included the highly-rated 18-year-old in their pre-season plans and he was in the squad for their UEFA Super Cup clash with arch-rivals Atletico Madrid.
He has been demoted to the Castilla side since then, however, with Real boss Julen Lopetegui boasting plenty of proven performers within his first team squad.
And that has led to speculation of a return to his homeland for Vinicius, having previously made 69 appearances for Flamengo.
But his representative says there is no clause within his contract that would allow such a switch to be rushed through.
Frederico Pena told Globo Esporte: “This option does not exist in his contract. The plan is being strictly followed, so a return to Flamengo in January is unlikely.”
Vinicius was also involved with Lopetegui’s squad for the La Liga opener against Getafe but is yet to see competitive minutes for Real.
His 2018/19 outings to date have come for Los Blancos’ reserve team in the Segunda Division B.
He made a quiet start to life with a team managed by Santiago Solari but burst into life during the recent derby with Atletico.
Vinicius bagged a brace in a keenly contested 2-2 draw, with that fixture also seeing him involved in a tussle with Tachi which resulted in him appearing to be bitten on the head.
Real Madrid have long been linked with Brazilian superstar Neymar, but it is another, unheralded man from the South American football heartland that Los Blancos are currently tracking – Fluminense striker Pedro Guilherme.
According to reports in Spain, the 21-year-old hitman has caught the attention of a host of European clubs after scoring 12 goals in 23 games for the Brazilian side.
Sevilla, Roma and AC Milan are also in the mix for Guilherme, but AS believe Real lead the way in the battle for his signature.
Real are said to want to sign the Rio de Janeiro-born forward in January and loan him to another European club for the second half of the season, although it has been indicated that Madrid are not keen to match Pedro’s buyout clause, which shot up to a mammoth £44million after he recently signed a new deal until 2021.
The La Liga giants believe a deal can be done for around half of that sum, for a player who started his career with Fluminense’s fierce rivals Flamengo, but was released at 14.
The forward missed out on featuring for Brazil this week after sustaining a knee injury two weeks ago.
After losing Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus after the World Cup, new Los Blancos boss Julen Lopetegui is looking to reshape the European champions’ attack.
Vinicius Junior has arrived from Flamengo, Mariano Diaz has come in from Lyon and Rodrygo was prised away from Santos this summer as the Bernabeu has received a heavy injection of South American flair.
All three will provide competition for Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez as Real look to wrestle the La Liga title away from Barcelona.