Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is reportedly planning for life after Cristiano Ronaldo and has drawn up a three-man shortlist of youngsters who could potentially succeed the Portuguese superstar.
According to Diario Gol (via the Mirror), Perez is keen to sign a "rough diamond" rather than an established star, so his list is made up of 20-year-old Goncalo Guedes, 18-year-old Lincoln and 17-year-old Alan Souza.
Of the three, Guedes would be the least risky signing given he has already begun to prove himself in La Liga.
The Portugal international is on loan at Valencia from Paris Saint-Germain and has netted three goals and provided five assists in the Spanish top flight already this season, per Squawka:
Guedes can play on either flank, or as a No. 9, but PSG are likely to drive a hard bargain for him—if they are even willing to sell—especially if he continues in his current form.
Signing either Lincoln or Souza would require a huge amount of faith in their abilities on Real's part.
Both are currently based in the Brazilian league—Lincoln at Gremio and Alan at Palmeiras—and there is no guarantee they would be successful in La Liga.
However, they are both talented attacking players. Lincoln and Alan's preferred position is in a more central playmaking role operating as a No. 10, although the former has played out on the flanks for Gremio.
A recent report from Sergio Santos Chozas of AS indicated Real have already reached a "verbal agreement" to sign Alan and are attempting to negotiate a lower fee than his €50 million release clause.
All three players on Real and Perez's shortlist have the potential to be top stars, but it is unlikely they will be able to emulate all Ronaldo has achieved at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The good news for Los Blancos is the 32-year-old four-time Ballon d'Or winner continues to perform at a high level, so the club still have time to work out how they will cope when he hangs up his boots.