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Brahim Diaz, Palacios & Lunin: How Real Madrid are building for the future

21:34 GMT+3 01/12/2018
Brahim Diaz Ezequiel Palacios Andriy Lunin Split
Youth is the buzzword around the Santiago Bernabeu right now, as the Merengue eschew big transfer targets in favour of star prospects

All eyes are on the future at Real Madrid, with two of football's hottest talents lined up as potential transfer candidates at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

After a tough start to the 2018-19 that has already cost Julen Lopetegui his job, and the inflated state of the transfer market, Madrid president Florentino Perez will change tack in January. 

The notorious 'Galactico-hunter' is set to bet on youth, planning bids for a trio of wonderkids to rejuvenate the Merengue's ageing squad. 

Manchester City forward Brahim Diaz is top of the list for Perez. Goal understands that the 19 year old has already reached an informal agreement with Madrid after struggling for first-team football under Pep Guardiola. 

While no official announcement has been made by either club, Diaz could move to Spain as early as January or, if a deal cannot be reached, on a free transfer in June 2018.

Exequiel Palacios, too, is set for an imminent move to the Bernabeu, even if the River Plate youngster is currently more concerned about the seemingly interminable Copa Libertadores venue saga. 

The delay in playing River's final second leg against Boca has served to also push back talks between the two clubs, who have already reached a preliminary agreement over a sale. 

Palacios has a release clause of €15 million (£13.3m/$17m), although Madrid are likely to pay more for the 20-year-old midfielder to seal the deal. 

Diaz and Palacios would join fellow youngster Vinicius Junior in a squad that is gradually decreasing in age. Vinicius suffered under Lopetegui upon arriving at Madrid, spending most of the ex-Spain coach's tenure in Castilla, but he is one of the big hopes for the future for the Blancos. 

It is not just attacking and creative talent that has caught Madrid's eye, however. 

Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, 19, is currently on loan at Leganes, but is tipped as one of the most promising players currently on the capital club's books. Defender Alvaro Odriozola too is being gradually bedded into the first team after moving in the summer from Real Sociedad

Further down the line, Rodrygo will complete his move from Santos, teaming up with Vinicius in a duo that brings together perhaps Brazil's two most promising young strikers. 

Add the name above to already established first-teamers like Marco Asensio (22) and Dani Ceballos (21), and it is clear that Madrid are looking forward to a medium-term panorama of a young, talented team that can form the base of another historic Merengue run of success before too long.