Brahim Diaz was chased by half of Europe, but will play for Real Madrid.
It was a similar story with the Brazilian duo of Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior.
Los Blancos still have a big sway for young players despite the fact that we are living in a time of sheikhs and state-owned clubs who make football an increasingly exorbitant business.
But the power of seduction of the kings of Europe remains strong, particularly in recent times, and they have used that sway to lure some of the game’s biggest prospects.
Both Vinicius and Rodrygo were also chased by half the planet, but, in the end, they were brought to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
The former, who now wears the No.28 at Real Madrid, signed at 16 years old when he hadn’t yet debuted with Flamengo for 45 million euros.
That figure may seem excessive, but it was necessary in order to beat out competition from the likes of PSG, Manchester City and Manchester United, who were all interested.
It was something of a similar situation with Rodrygo, a player who caught the attention of Barcelona but who gave Juni Calafat his word that he would join Real Madrid and he did indeed end up signing with the European champions.
He will arrive next summer and is one of the players who has most excited those in power at the Bernabeu.
“Pure talent with a good eye for goal,” is the word from those within the club who have watched him closely.
The club are not nervous or anxious about signing young players instead of established talents with a big reputation.
Real Madrid‘s strategy is clear.
They are taking advantage of a winning cycle with such prominent players to incorporate some of the best young talent with those who can assure them another cycle of dominance within three to four years.
Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Marcelo joined Real Madrid when they were still teenagers and have been the linchpins in defense for the four Champions League wins in recent years.
The same can be said of players like Isco and Karim Benzema, who arrived in the Spanish capital when they were 21 years old, while Casemiro was brought in from Sao Paulo at 20.
Some arrived later and others were already there, but those six men have been key in recent years.
In addition to Brahim (who will arrive in January if nothing falls through at the last moment) and the Brazilian duo, Real Madrid also have on their payroll players like Martin Odegaard, who signed at 16 and who is taking a long time to move to the next level, but who is someone the club still have faith in.
It is worth pointing out that he has made improvements of late and is just 20.
In an inflated market, those in power at the Bernabeu believe that the best policy for them is investing in young talent, an area where they haven’t won all of their battles.
Jadon Sancho, now at Borussia Dortmund after moving from City, was also on their radar, along with other youngsters such as Matthijs De Ligt, Phil Foden, Justin Kluivert and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who are all players who could be worth 100 million euros in a few years.
Kylian Mbappe and Gianluigi Donnarumma, both 19, are also at a different level already and would fetch a huge transfer fee if they were to move on.