Real Madrid have completed the long-expected signing of Vinicius de Oliveira Junior, but the 16-year-old forward is expected continue at Flamengo until the summer of 2019. Barcelona, Liverpool and Bayern Munich were also said to be interested the Brazilian wonderkid but the La Liga champions have won the race after having reportedly agreeing to meet his stunning €45m (£38.8m, $50.3m) release clause.
Barcelona had been linked with the Brazilian wonderkid since he led his country to a victory in the South American Under 17 tournament played in Colombia back in 2015.
Reports in Spain in January suggested that the Catalans were even ready to meet his former €30m release clause, despite the promising starlet having not then made his first-team debut for Flamengo.
Yet, he is said to be the biggest thing to emerge from Brazilian youth football since current Barcelona ace Neymar – with some in his homeland suggesting that he is going to be even better than Manchester City sensation Gabriel Jesus.
But earlier this month Brazilian publication Globoesporte reported that Real Madrid were ready to beat Barcelona for his signing after having offered €45m to Flamengo for his services ahead of luring him to the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2018.
Marca added that Liverpool, Bayern and Barcelona were also battling for his services but Real Madrid had emerged as the frontrunners to win the race after Vinicius' parents travelled to the Spanish capital to see the Los Blancos training ground.
Flamengo later handed the teenager his first team debut, and last week the club revealed a new major development in the saga, giving him a new deal while increasing his release clause to €45m.
Reports in Brazil then suggested that the new deal was only the final step to complete his move to Real Madrid, and now both clubs have confirmed that the transfer is a done deal - although it won't be effective until he turns 18-years-old in the summer of 2018.
"Real Madrid C. F. and Clube de Regatas do Flamengo have reached an agreement regarding the transfer of the federative rights of the player Vinicius Junior from July 2018. The player will remain at his current club until July 2019, although he will be able to play for Real Madrid before then if both clubs agree to it," the La Liga giants have confirmed through an official statement on Tuesday 23 May.
The clubs have refused to disclose the details of the agreement but different sources in Brazil and Spain confirm that Los Blancos have agreed to pay Vinicius' €45m buy-out clause in full.