Back

Real win race for right back Danilo: is Madrid right move?

Champions League holders Real Madrid (4/1 with Coral to retain their European title) have announced the signing of Porto and Brazil right back Danilo Luiz da Silva. The Bicas-born 23-year-old will arrive at the Bernabeu in summer on a six-year deal said to be worth £23m.

“Real Madrid and Porto have reached an agreement for the transfer of Danilo, who will join next season and be tied to the club until 30 June 2021,” said an official statement from the Spanish capital club.

Brazil are famed for rolling flying full backs off their production line, and dangerous Porto defender Danilo Luiz da Silva is the latest sought-after Samba Boys star to have taken Europe by storm.

Los Blancos were considered far and away the front runners for the rampant right back’s signature, and have now officially won the race, supposedly beating rivals Barcelona and Manchester United to land Dragon Danilo.

Real coach Carlo Ancelotti certainly had a secret weapon up his sleeve, as Portuguese giants Porto, who are notorious for negotiating top dollar for their players, are keen on acquiring Madrid-owned anchorman Casemiro.

The young Brazilian has impressed the Dragons during his short loan stint at the club so far, and reports suggested he could be used as a sweetener as Madrid tried to convince the Dragons to part with Danilo. However, there has been no reports of a Casemiro capture yet.

Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Cosa recently stated: “We’ll deal with the loanees in due course, but yes, we’re interested [in keeping them]. If it’s possible, Oliver and Casemiro are players we’re interested in [signing them permanently].”

It appears then, after already snapping up Danilo’s compatriot Lucas Silva and Norway wonderkid Martin Odegaard, they has been yet another Real steal. However, is it really the right move for both player and club?

Despite the cliches surrounding Brazilian defenders, highly-rated Danilo is a reliable right back as well as an extra weapon in attack. In short, exactly the type of summer buy Los Blancos should be targeting.

Rearguard wobbles are always a risk when the Spanish capital club are on the back-foot, but Danilo is a pacy and physical presence who can be an attribute at either end of the pitch. Tricky compatriot Marcelo provides penetration and width from the left-hand side defensive berth for Real, and the prospect of facing both would give sleepless nights to many La Liga teams.

Real Castilla product and current right back incumbent Dani Carvajal was retrieved from Bayer Leverkusen by Los Blancos just a season after leaving, so it would seem harsh to displace him.

However, with back-up Alvaro Arbeloa, now 32, showing his age, this could be a case of Madrid aiming for squad depth rather than stockpiling talent to scupper their rivals.

There is a belief that providing competition for Carvajal will keep the 23-year-old from stagnating and help the talented defender to develop. Despite this, critics have often called Ancelotti out for a lack of rotation with Real, so, when Danilo joins, one of the two will certainly be relegated to the role of understudy.

As for Danilo, the player has little to lose. The Porto star should slot perfectly in to Madrid’s counter-attacking system and excel with world-class contemporaries surrounding him, and arguably possesses a higher ceiling than Carvajal. If a move to the Bernabeu does not work out, however, the 13-capped Brazil full back is young enough to carve out a career elsewhere.

Danilo, who has contributed four goals and as many assists to the Dragons across all competitions this campaign, should take Real’s supposed interest as a huge compliment. The Spanish giants (13/8 to reach the Champions League final) rarely fork out big sums for defensive recruits, unless they believe they have spotted a truly special talent.