If there is a method which brings success, then you are almost certainly going to revisit it in the future, and this is exactly what Real Madrid are planning to do with their imminent capture of Eder Militao from FC Porto, just months after he arrived in Portugal from Sao Paulo.
The Brazilian central defender will follow in the footsteps of Pepe by leaving the Oporto club for the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, with it clear Los Blancos are planning for their future.
Sergio Ramos and Pepe were the central defensive pairing for many years, and only Raphael Varane’s exceptional emergence as a truly world class defender broke up the aforementioned partnership.
As Ramos is entering the latter stage of his career, it now becomes imperative for the European champions to find his long-term replacement, and this is far from routine given how influential the former Sevilla right-back has been since joining.
Nacho Fernandez’s versatility was appreciated by Zinedine Zidane and Julen Lopetegui, although Santiago Solari hasn’t used him to the same degree. There is also the fact that Jesus Vallejo hasn’t developed in the way Los Merengues had hoped.
Both situations have left Real Madrid in need of a central defender to almost act as the third choice behind Ramos and Varane for a couple of seasons, and at 21 years old Militao fits the bill perfectly.
The Sertaozinho born defender has enjoyed a whirlwind 2018 in which he’s made the lucrative move to Europe from his home country, and now he’s set to play his football in LaLiga Santander from the start of the 2019/20 season.
A deal between the Spanish giants and the defender’s representatives has already been agreed, with the permission of the Portuguese champions, although there remains one minor stumbling block before any deal can be rubber stamped.
FC Porto sees such sales as great advocacy of their scouting and coaching programmes and is pleased to recoup such significant figures, but in this instance, there remains a dispute over who will pay Sao Paulo the £5.2 million development fee they are owed.
FIFA rules mandate that compensatory training fees can be claimed by a club who has developed a player between the age of 12 to 21. This payment remains valid until the individual in question turns 23.
When a player in this age bracket transfers to another club in a different nation to that of their original ‘development’ club, then it’s the responsibility of the buying club to compensate.
So, in this case, it would be FC Porto’s legal responsibility to ensure Sao Paulo receive the full payment. However they are demanding that Real Madrid make up the money in their transfer offer, so the Spaniards would essentially be paying the £5.2 million, something Florentino Perez and co are entirely unwilling to do. Their stance is that the development fee is nothing to do with them and their pursuit of the Brazilian.
This isn’t thought to be a deal-breaking issue, however, and Real Madrid expects to confirm the signing of Militao shortly.
It’s challenging to assess Real Madrid now because it’s unclear just who will be their coach at the start of next season. Solari has signed a three-year contract until June 2021, but he can be dismissed for very little compensation at any time.
Mauricio Pochettino could be available in the summer, and Los Blancos are acutely aware that Manchester United may move for their number one coaching target in the Argentine. With that being said, Militao follows a string of young players being brought to the Spanish capital before their values skyrocket.
Perez was particularly chagrined by his inability to sign Neymar from Santos, and then when he left for Paris for a world record £200 million, it further exasperated the club’s president. He realises that Real Madrid can’t pay these exorbitant fees, although there is a certain irony about the club who consistently inflated the market in the mid-2000s now being unable to keep up financially.
As a result, he has implored those within the club to find players and sign them before their value reaches its peak. Vinicius Junior was the first, and both Rodrygo and Eder Militao will follow.
A period of such dominance in the Champions League has slightly offset just how inconsistent Real Madrid have been in LaLiga Santander for most of the millennium in truth, winning only six titles from a possible 20.
While the club’s priority remains the Champions League; it’s hoped that the signings of such hungry young players will give the team the boost it needs to treat every single match with the requisite intensity to topple Barcelona from the Spanish football summit on a more regular basis. Militao will be the first step in the defensive positions to address that aim