MADRID - Real Madrid have reached an agreement to sign Brazilian teenager Endrick from Palmeiras, the teams announced on Thursday, beating a host of leading European clubs linked to the prodigy.
The 16-year-old striker will join the European and LaLiga champions in July 2024, due to world soccer governing body FIFA's rules prohibiting underage players from playing abroad.
Real have reportedly trumped several top clubs, including Paris St-Germain, Chelsea, Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United, who were chasing the young prospect. Palmeiras and Real did not provide any details of the deal but Brazilian media group Globo said the transfer would be worth $74.88 million, the second biggest in the history of the Brazilian championship only behind the reported $94 million Barcelona paid for Neymar in 2013.
Excl: Endrick, new Real Madrid player! Contracts and documents have been signed in last 24h. Deal can now be considered sealed. ⚪️ #RealMadridEndrick will join Real Madrid in June 2024. Contract will be until 2027 plus three years option, so 2030.
Here we go confirmed. pic.twitter.com/1pXCZyTgsG
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 15, 2022
"I want to thank Palmeiras for offering me everything necessary to become what I am today, for helping me to accomplish several of my dreams and for respecting my desire and that of my family to make another dream come true," Endrick said in an official statement published on the Palmeiras website. "Until I join Real Madrid, I will continue to dedicate myself as I always have in order to offer Palmeiras even more on the field: more goals, more victories, more titles and even more joy for our fans."
— SE Palmeiras (@Palmeiras) January 19, 2022
Real said Endrick will visit the club's facilities in Spain next week. His compatriots Vinícius Jr and Rodrygo were also signed from Brazil when they were under 18.
A stand-out talent from a young age, Endrick scored 170 goals in 176 matches for Palmeiras' academy.
Endrick, who has been at the club since 2017, was Palmeiras' youngest ever debutant at 16 years two months and 15 days before becoming their youngest ever scorer less than a month later.
History was made last night.Potentiality the first of hundreds & hundreds of Endrick goals. pic.twitter.com/Y83gXO7T7S
— Fútbol Spy (@SpyFutbol) October 26, 2022
He is the only player to ever be crowned a champion in all the club's age groups - Under-11, Under-13, Under-15, Under-17, Under-20 and at the professional level.
(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; Editing by Ken Ferris)