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Real Madrid swoop for Brazilian midfield starlet Lucas Silva

Real Madrid, 11/4 with Coral to retain the Champions League, have snapped up Brazil Under-21 international Lucas Silva for a rumoured fee of around £10m.

The former Cruzeiro midfield anchor was supposedly a top transfer target for Premier League giants such as Arsenal (who are 5/2 favourites to win the FA Cup), Chelsea and Manchester United, so represents yet another coup for Los Blancos.

Lucas, who made 66 appearances for Cruzeiro, has penned a deal that will keep him at the Bernabeu until 2020, and should be in contention for the first team squad.

Speaking at the mandatory Madrid media unveiling, Lucas stated: “It’s a dream come true and I’m very happy. I feel very ready to wear and honour this shirt. This is the best club in the world.”

The deep-lying playmaker also recently revealed he had passed on his right to 10 per cent of his transfer fee, illustrating the strong lure of playing for Los Blancos.

A defensive midfielder by trade, Lucas is also highly-rated for his ability on the ball as well as tenacity in the tackle, and could man Madrid’s engine room for years to come. If he is given the opportunity.

Real have already recruited much sought-after teenage prodigy Martin Odegaard and are also being linked with a move for Athletic Bilbao centre back star Aymeric Laporte.

The switch in transfer policy seems clear, with the Spanish capital club appearing intent on hovering up football’s most highly-rated youngsters to compete with the long-term strategy of bitter rivals Barcelona.

Madrid have long been criticised for their Galactico policy, so this seems a step in the right direction, but is their new-found fascination with youth really going to save money in the long term?

There is little doubt Carlo Ancelotti will still be allowed to pick from the cream of world football again this summer, and Real will surely be in the mix for the likes of Marco Reus and Paul Pogba, and any top talent that emerges in the future.

Premier League giants Chelsea have already shown what stockpiling highly-rated starlets can do to a young career and, despite good intentions, have so far failed to integrate their talents, instead farming their fledglings out across Europe.

Real have previously splurged on young potential before themselves, with Raphael Varane and Asier Illarramendi both plucked from their clubs to supposedly be Madrid’s future.

However, the two talents are now linked with a Bernabeu exit in the search for further game time, so can Los Blancos really offer Silva hope of progression?

With Sami Khedira and Illarramendi both mooted for moves away, Brazilian midfield shield Lucas could certainly find his path to the first team clearer than Odegaard, but the 21-year-old will still have to displace one of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric or James Rodriguez.

It appears that the prestige, fame and fortune of playing at the Bernabeu far outweigh the potential hazards, but Real must be careful with the future of their talented new recruits.