Real Valladolid owner Ronaldo says he has enquired to former club Real Madrid about loaning Vinicius Junior in the January transfer window, though he isn't hopeful of a winter deal being done.
Ronaldo is the most famous Brazilian to have ever represented Los Blancos, and he told Desayunos Deportivos (h/t Sport) he's spoken to Real President Florentino Perez about loaning new kid on the block Vinicius.
The 42-year-old said: "It's very difficult. I'd love to see him at Valladolid. ... He's got a lot of talent, and Madrid want him to stay in their squad. Florentino told me a deal would be difficult."
Vinicius, 18, completed his transfer to Spain's capital this past summer and has split his duties between the first team and Real's Castilla squad, struggling to find much consistency in the senior ranks.
The Brazilian started in their UEFA Champions League dead rubber against CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, however, the latest hint he could follow in the footsteps of countryman and Selecao legend Ronaldo, per Squawka:
It's possible Ronaldo sympathises with the youth's task and presumably wants to offer Vinicius a lower-pressure environment, but one that would still place him in La Liga and close to his parent club.
Real's temptation may be to keep the former Flamengo prodigy in Madrid in the hopes he has a sudden growth spurt, and his performance against CSKA at least didn't harm his chances, per OptaJose:
Ronaldo took a majority stake in Valladolid in September, three matches into their league campaign and with the team yet to score a goal or notch an assist. Two matches into his ownership, the promoted outfit drew 3-3 with Celta Vigo before embarking on a four-match win streak, and they now sit 12th in La Liga.
While it undoubtedly represents a step down from the Santiago Bernabeu in prestige, Vinicius may view the project as one that could benefit his profile in the long run.
Jesus Vallejo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Mariano Diaz (Lyon) and Marcos Llorente (Alaves) are all young players at Real who have benefited from short spells elsewhere in the past couple of seasons.
There's a lot of expectation on a teenager who cost a reported €46 million to import from South America, although manager Santiago Solari has said he has surpassed even those, via Omnisport:
One could think of few players a young Brazilian attacker would like to work around other than Ronaldo if presented the choice, but it seems the powers that be in Madrid have other plans in mind for Vinicius.