SAO PAULO – Santos president Jose Carlos Peres said the team asked Real Madrid to extend young forward Rodrygo’s stay with the Brazilian club for another six months, keeping him with the organization until the end of 2019.
“We already put in the request to Real Madrid. We sent it and are awaiting their response. It’s a bit early yet, but we did it out of caution,” Peres said Sunday on TV Gazeta’s Mesa Redonda program.
Rodrygo, who turned 18 on Jan. 9, was signed by the Spanish club last year in a deal worth about $51.5 million (45 million euros).
Since Rodrygo was a minor when the deal was done, the clubs and his agents followed the same strategy as with Vinicius Junior, a former Flamengo player, allowing him to remain with Santos until July 2019.
Santos’s new manager, Argentine Jorge Sampaoli, said during his introduction last month that it would be good for the teenage striker to spend “a couple more years” in the organization to finish developing.
“I think that Rodrygo, for the good of his career, would be better off spending a couple more years here, for his good and my good ... but I don’t make those decisions,” said Sampaoli, who previously served as coach of the Argentine and Chilean national teams.
The striker is still not working with Sampaoli because he is with the Brazilian Under-20 team, which will play Chile in the South American Championship, a tournament that starts on Thursday and runs until Feb. 10.
Before joining the team, Rodrygo traveled to Spain, where he toured Real Madrid’s facilities and watched the Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.