Madrid are almost incessantly linked to high priced transfer talent, ranging from Didier Drogba to Diego to Kaka.
Madrid is behind a lot of the top European talent in terms of future stars, and they should try to stockpile as much young talent as possible in order to find their Giovani dos Santos, Bojan, or Alexandre Pato. Madrid simply don't have anyone near that level, and there are several young players who could be on that level that Madrid should target in the coming year.
The first such player is Lulinha, (Luiz Marcelo Morais dos Reis), born in Maua, Brazil on April 10, 1990.
Already being dubbed the "The New Ronaldinho" by Fifa.com, this 17-year-old world-beater is well on his way to a big-time transfer in the near future.
He recently committed his future to his Brazilian club Corinthians. It will "keep" him with the club until Dec. 31, 2012. The four-and-a-half year deal will reportedly pay him the equivalent of £24 million, an amazing sum for the young star.
Lulinha actually rejected advances from top European talent, namely Chelsea and also Inter Milan, so it will be a project to get him to leave before the end of his contract.
Corinthians President Andres Sanchez, understandably proud of being able to keep top world clubs at bay, said after the signing, "Now to take him off Corinthians, the interested club would have to pay $50 million American dollars, and the player has 25 percent of his rights."
While some may read this as a statement that he is off-limits, I interpret it as an admission that Lulinha can be had for the right price. People who are curious may note that, for a club dealing in Euros, $50 million is a shrinking figure and certainly not an outrageous sum for Madrid to pay for a young player.
Need I remind anyone of the two headscratchers of the past year—namely the 20 million Euro transfer fee payed by Madrid for little known midfielder Fernando Gago, as well the outrageous 30 million Euro transfer paid for little known defender Pepe? Neither was rated anywhere near Lulinha's stratosphere, but the Madrid brass deemed them worth those hefty transfer fees.
Madrid have the money and the gall to pay 34.7 million Euros for a player who's unproven at the highest level. He is, according to a Fifa.com article, blessed "with his breathtaking cocktail of flicks and tricks, defence-splitting through-balls and assured finishing. The 17-year-old, who is equally at home in an attacking midfield role or operating as a second forward, is every bit the classic Brazilian No10."
He's about as good a bet to be worth a big time transfer as anyone, much like Sergio Ramos was when Madrid paid Sevilla crazy money back in 2005. That's worked out nicely I would say.