Another international break is upon us, which means the transfer rumors have gone into overdrive with the winter market opening in just over a months time. From Marca, to AS, to ESPN, to Barcelona-based Sport, each have reported on Madrid’s interest in four Spanish “pearls” potentially available in the next two transfer windows. Madrid continue to march on with their policy of signing young talents, and have identified the best and brightest from the native land:
The center back for Espanyol has been one of the revelations of the season. His form has lasted well beyond the first few months of the 2018-2019 season, as Hermoso was gaining rave reviews since last season. Luis Enrique has given the 23-year-old his first Spanish national team call-up, confirming his ascendance and his value as one of the top center backs in Spain. Hermoso was former canterano and joined the club in 2005 at the age of ten. He made his way through the ranks and formed part of Castilla from 2015 – 2017 playing under both Zidane and Santiago Solari. AS has reported that Madrid have a first right of refusal and a buy-back clause which could see the player, who is value at €40M, be brought back for a mere €7.5 million.
Pedraza, just 22 years of age, another player who is making a name for himself in La Liga after a great campaign with Alaves last season, and a return to Villarreal this season, where he operates both as a left winger or left back. It’s Pedraza’s directness and speed that catches the eye. ESPN first reported Madrid’s interest, and the player himself has since come out and commented on the speculation: “There is interest from Madrid? I would love to play for a big club”. Alfonso Pedraza would feel right at home in Madrid as he was a part of the Spain U19 team which won the European Championship in 2015, where his teammates included the likes of Marco Asensio, Dani Ceballos and Jesus Vallejo. He is another player on the radar of new national team coach Luis Enrique, as he was called up from the U21 squad to train with the senior team prior to the games against Wales and England in the October break. Pedraza is rumored to have a €22 million buy-out clause.
The diminutive, but dynamic attacking midfielder just turned 19 years old this past August. Brahim Diaz hails from the Andalusian region of Spain and formed part of Malaga youth system up until the age of 16, where he was purchased by Manchester City for €200K. Brahim is in the last year of his contract and is struggling for minutes under Pep Guardiola. Despite his lack of game time, Pep has come out and said he will do “absolutely everything” to keep Brahim Diaz at the club. If Diaz left City for Madrid, it’s unclear how much more playing time he would receive with the plethora of talent in his position, but it certainly would be a free coup of an exciting attacking talent.
Maybe one of the least familiar names on the list, but nonetheless another bright Spanish talent. The 20-year-old plays for Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb after forming part of Barcelona’s youth system for seven years. He has featured at almost every level of the Spanish youth national team: U15, U16, U17, U18, and U21. Olmo operates as a winger (preferably on the left, but can play on the right as well) and most recently started for the U21 Spanish national team in their win over Denmark. Reports from Barcelona based sport suggest that both Real Madrid and Barcelona are interested in bringing the player back home from Croatia.