Even though they haven’t won a World Cup in 15 years, Brazil will always be a hotbed for clubs on the lookout for the next footballing superstar.
Back in 2002, the Selecao had Ronaldo, Rivaldo, and a young Ronaldinho – it looked like they had the world at their feet.
Yet failure to conquer the world game once again hasn’t stopped clubs picking out the best young Brazilians.
Football Whispers bring us the lowdown on Alan, the playmaker about to make the switch to Real Madrid.
Who is Alan and where does he come from?
According to the Spanish press, Zinedine Zidane is close to securing a deal for 17-year-old midfielder Alan.
Born in Sao Paulo, he turned out for several youth sides before making the jump from Sao Caetano to Palmeiras in 2014.
Born in 2000, the young man was already catching the eyes of scouts, with Inter Milan interested in him early on.
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Now, after making 16 appearances for Brazil’s under-17 side, Real Madrid are ready to pounce.
They already have the rights to his international team-mate Vinicius Junior and with the striker not joining until 2019, Alan could be in place for his arrival.
His current release clause sits at £44million, but with his contract winding down, set to expire in 2019, that puts the Spanish side in the driving seat and they should be able to negotiate down to around half that clause.
Alan is currently with Brazil in India, taking part in the Under-17 FIFA World Cup and he has been instrumental in helping them reach the semi-finals.
Germany looked like the favourites to progress, but Alan sparked a comeback, setting up Weverson for the equaliser before Brazil went on to the win the game 2-1.
They take on England in Guwahati on Wednesday, and the Young Lions, who have equally impressed during the tournament, will need to be at their best if they want to reach another youth final.
Alan is fast on the ball and is gifted with two quick feet, as you would expect from any Brazilian playmaker.
Wearing the famous No.10 jersey, you would expect a certain about of pressure on the teenager, but he has taken it all in his stride.
Deadly from set-pieces, he plays with his head up, so he can’t be allowed time to pick a pass with his lovely right-foot.
How much will he cost?
Palmeiras would love to recoup all his £44million release clause, but due to his contract ending in the summer of 2019, both parties believe there is a deal to be done.
There is a look of Mesut Özil about the Brazilian, the way he glides with the ball, slips passes into team-mates and finds space.
It’s incredible to think that Los Blancos could end up paying just £20million less than Arsenal paid them for the German playmaker four years’ ago.
It shows how much the game has changed and values have rocketed.
Where is his most likely destination?
Alan’s agent has already been spotted having a meeting with Florentino Perez in Spain, sparking the rumours that this deal was already close to completion.
It signals another move from Real to snap up some of the best young talent. Vinicius Junior will arrive at the Bernabeu in 2019 after they paid £38million to seal the striker’s move from Flamengo.
In 2015 they beat off a batch of clubs to secure the £2.3million signature of Martin Ødegaard from Stromsgodset.
He is still only 18, currently out on loan at Heerenveen in Holland.
With these three young players alone, the future looks very bright at Real Madrid.
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