Madrid to make Nacho first signing of next season

The 23-year-old Blancos defender has not always been a favourite of Jose Mourinho's but solid performances in La Liga lately have impressed the Portuguese coach
By Alberto Pinero

Real Madrid will make reserve-team defender Nacho their first signing of the summer as he has impressed current head coach Jose Mourinho.

The 23-year-old, whose current deal with the Blancos runs out in 2014, has spent most of his career playing for the Castilla side and has struggled to make the step up into the first team.

However, he has started the last four Liga games - against Malaga, Valladolid, Atletico Madrid and Betis - and his displays have caught the Portuguese's eye.

"I like him very much. He is at a good point in his evolution and I want to give him a chance," Mourinho said to reporters.

The 50-year-old coach, who is hotly tipped to be joining Chelsea in the summer, is not known for praising his young stars such a way and the fact he has been critical of Nacho in the past suggests that he now rates the centre-back.

Nacho has now played almost 900 minutes in the Madrid first team since making his debut against Valencia on April 23, 2011 and next season will be the defender's 13th at the club having joined the youth team at the age of just 11.

With no investment needed to bring him into the first-team fold, it would represent good business by the club going into next season.