MADRID (AP) – Real Madrid says it has reached a deal to sign Brazil's new teenage star, Vinicius Junior.
The 16-year-old forward, who currently plays for Flamengo and is seen in Brazil as potentially being the next Neymar, will become a Madrid player in July 2018.
However, the Spanish club said in a statement Tuesday that Vinicius Junior is likely to stay at Flamengo until July 2019, although ''he will be able to play for Real Madrid before then if both clubs agree to it.''
Details of the transfer fee were not released by either club, but Brazilian media said the move is worth about 45 million euros ($50 million), which would make him the most expensive Brazilian signing since Neymar joined Barcelona in 2013. Neymar's transfer is the subject of a court case, with Barcelona saying that the fee was 57.1 million euros.
Flamengo directors said Madrid has been following the player since he was 11 years old.
Speedy and extremely skillful, Vinicius Junior is best known for his performances with Brazil's under-17 team, which won the South American championship this year. He was voted the competition's best player and finished as its top goal-scorer with seven goals.
Vinicius Junior turned professional this month and made his debut two weeks ago by playing 10 minutes in Flamengo's 1-1 home draw against Atletico Mineiro in the first round of the Brazilian championship. Last weekend he played another 10 minutes in a 3-0 win over Atletico Goianiense.