The midfielder, who has, up until recently, been playing for Santos' reserves, received a call-up to their first team and impressed during a number of preseason games—one against Madrid's rivals Barcelona.
Sky Sports reported Santos as saying:
I am very happy, I am a reserve player and Real Madrid are interested in me.
It's of a course a dream, but it's in God's hands. If I have to go now, I will. If not, I can go later.
So with the player seemingly keen on a move to the Spanish capital, it appears all that's left to do is sort out the paperwork.
Santos would more than likely be given the chance to play in Spain's Segunda Liga for Real Madrid's Castilla team as he adapts to life in Spain as well as Spanish culture.
Real Madrid have lacked that supportive, anchoring role in the heart of their midfield for a number of years and have failed to find somebody who can fit that role since Claude Makelele's departure.
There's no two ways about it; when going forward, Real Madrid are a juggernaut. You have their array of attacking talent on the pitch, from wingbacks like Fabio Coentrao and Marcelo to midfielders such as Mesut Ozil and Angel di Maria.
So, it's quite obvious that Real have no concerns when going forward, but what has been so plain to see over the years is their frailty when trying to shut out their opponents.
During Real's opening La Liga fixture against Real Betis at the weekend, the Galacticos went a goal down after just 14 minutes and really should have had a mountain to climb just two minutes later when Joan Verdu missed the simplest of chances in front of goal.
Real, as you'd expect, did go on to win the match, but the outcome could have been so different.
In comparison to the Madrid-based side's fortunes, their most fierce rivals romped to a 7-0 victory over Levante, and one of the main reasons for that—besides Lionel Messi—is that the Blaugrana have Sergio Busquets.
Busquets, although renowned for having a "nasty" side to his game—following his shameful display against Inter Milan in the 2010 Champions League semi-final as he "acted up" to get Thiago Motta sent off—plays a key part in Barcelona's side. He is the fulcrum that allows the Blaugrana to play the beautiful tiki-taka football they are known for.
With Xavi and Andres Iniesta famed for their incredible vision and passing range, Busquets is the man who makes the majority of this possible. He is always on the move, dropping in and out to make himself free so that his compatriots always have an out-ball. And when Barca lose possession, their defensive midfield maestro is always on hand to do the dirty work.
This is the sort of player Real Madrid need in their team. And this is the sort of player they will acquire if they can complete the move for Santos.
The 22-year-old is a very similar player to Busquets—very defensive-minded with an inherent ability to find space in the opponent's formation.
With a few games under his belt in Real's Castilla side, which will help him adapt quickly to Spanish football, it's hard to see it being too long before he's called up to the first team as Real look to become more competitive in the Spanish duopoly.