Real Madrid are always on the look out for the next young talent who can come in and, in the long-term, fill the boots of their big-name stars when the eventually retire.
Sometimes shelling out millions of pounds on ready-made stars is not always the answer and doesn’t necessarily provide the long-term benefits that acquiring a young prospect with excellent potential can have.
Los Blancos simply couldn’t go out and sign a ready-made replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, for example. And the same could be said about a number of the club’s players, including Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos.
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And it is the latter who Real’s chiefs have got in mind with their latest young target a potential summer arrival at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ramos certainly doesn’t seem to have any intentions of retiring any time soon, and neither would anyone at the Spanish giants be expecting him to either. But at 31, the club are seriously considering one man who could replace him in the long term.
According to Marca, Real Madrid are intent on signing Atletico Madrid’s Theo Hernandez in the summer, by meeting his €24 million release clause, and believe that the left-back – who can also play in central defence – would be a fitting heir to Ramos.
Many within the club are understood to be excited about the prospect of the ‘new Sergio Ramos’ moving across the Spanish capital to the Bernabeu, with Hernandez possessing great physical power and remarkable technique.
La Liga debutant
However, the 19-year-old Frenchman is only in his first season in La Liga – currently spending the campaign on loan at Alaves – and has yet to make a senior appearance for Atletico, having previously featured for the B team.
But regardless to what capacity Zinedine Zidane in which would potentially use him next campaign, the club’s chiefs are desperate to get Hernandez on board.
Like Hernandez, Ramos was also snapped up after just a single season in the Spanish top flight before Los Blancos met Sevilla’s release clause to sign him. And that move has certainly paid dividends over the past 12 years in which he has won three league titles, two Spanish cups and the Champions League twice.
The current feeling at the Bernabeu is that Hernandez could have a similar impact, and if Real do press ahead with a move in the summer, it then remains to be seen whether the young Frenchman will choose to ditch the red and white colours of Atletico.