Real Madrid sign 15-year-old Independiente midfielder on pre-contract

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Real Madrid’s interest in Independiente youngster, Lucas Patanelli was reported some months ago but according to Spanish newspaper, Marca, Los Merengues have now sealed a pre-contract deal which will see the 15-year-old switch Avellaneda for the Spanish capital when he is old enough to complete the move.

Having caught the eye of Real Madrid scouts playing in the Independiente Octava División, Patanelli has been linked with a move for some time and has already been over to Madrid to be shown around the training facilities. FIFA’s rulings prevent any transfer being completed immediately but as Patanelli turns sixteen in February of 2016, he would be free to complete the transfer. It is understood that Madrid have ensured that they do not miss out on the talented midfielder by agreeing to a pre-contract deal.

After previously representing both River Plate and Argentinos Juniors, Patanelli has established himself as one of the most promising youth players in Independiente’s academy and as a child has performed on the pitch at the Estadio Libertadores de América showcasing his prodigous talents.

Inevitably the European press will label Patanelli as the ‘next Messi’ given his age and nationality but not only is this ridiculous in any instance, the 15-year-old appears quite a different type of player to the young Messi that emerged from Barcelona’s La Masia. Possessing excellent close control would be one attribute the two would have in common but Patanelli has been described as an enganche by those at Independiente and has a much lankier frame than Messi.

Such is the economic situation and the huge global scouting network of European clubs it is likely that Independiente supporters will never see Patanelli represent the first team. Equally it is very likely that he will not be the next Lionel Messi but it is worth the relatively small expense for a club like Real Madrid to sign him early and oversee his development in their academy.

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