Real Madrid have reportedly decided to take teenage sensation Vinicius Junior over to Spain from Brazil at the first opportunity in summer, rather than leaving him at home a little while longer to continue developing with Flamengo.
Real struck a big money deal with Vinicius in May when he was still only 16 years of age. Due to international transfer laws, Los Blancos cannot take him to Madrid until after he turns 18.
With the 2017 Brazilian season almost at a close, there was an option to let Flamengo keep him for one more season, which would have seen the player arrive at the Bernabeu in January 2019.
However, a report from AS claims that Real staff are convinced Vinicius is ready to join the first-team in Madrid as soon as possible. His 18th birthday is on 12th July 2018.
It is said that Real are impressed by his ability, confidence and personality. It is also said that having Vincius join the first-team at the end of the season will go at least some way to placating Zinedine Zidane after the coach has been asking for new signings.
AS say that Zidane is on board with having Vinicius in the squad and has been tipped to treat the Brazilian in a similar way to how Dani Ceballos has been slowly integrated this season, ensuring that he gains exposure to first-team life and yet still remains suitably protected.
Real's capture of Vinicius, reported to be worth around €45m, makes him one of the most expensive players in Real history. It raised eyebrows at the time it was agreed and sealed as the player had only made his professional debut for Flamengo 10 days earlier.
He has enjoyed a strong debut season, though, playing 34 times in all competitions.