Real Madrid would have already signed Stade Rennais wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga if it wasn’t for the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report.
The 17-year-old was enjoying a breakout season before Ligue 1 was abandoned last month, making 25 appearances and impressing with a string of mature performances well beyond his years in the heart of the Rennes midfield.
Los Blancos have been tracking the France Under-21 international for a number of years and according to Marca he would have already completed a move to the Santiago Bernabéu were it not for the COVID-19 situation.
Camavinga is viewed as the long-term successor to current defensive midfield linchpin Casemiro, but financial problems seem likely to put the brakes on the transfer.
Real stand to lose as much as €200m (£176.9m) in matchday revenue and sponsorship due to the current crisis, casting doubt over the feasibility of the deal. The club are likely to have to pay around €50m (£44.2) to secure his services, which could prove too expensive.
These financial constraints are worsened by the fact that Real are set to have 37 players on the payroll next season. The squad must therefore be trimmed considerably before any signings are made – and this may prove challenging as buyers will be hard to find amid considerable financial uncertainty.
However, Camavinga is keen on the deal and Los Blancos have not entirely ruled out making a move for him during the next transfer window.
Real look set to return to on field action on 20 June, despite players continuing to test positive for the coronavirus in Spain. Clubs started to return to training on Friday though there remains some mystery over the exact structure of the rest of the season.
Leganés boss Javier Aguirre has claimed that matches will be played behind closed doors on Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursday, though several other media outlets are reporting that games will only take place twice a week.