Real Madrid ready to add Theo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid
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It seems Theo Hernandez's in-form season at Alaves will lead him back to Madrid -- though not to the club he left.
Theo, on loan from Atletico Madrid, is set to join Real Madrid this summer after the Blancos pay his €24 million release clause, according to Spanish daily sports newspaper Marca.
The 19-year-old brother of Atletico's Lucas Hernandez and a France youth international, Theo has previously been linked to a number of clubs -- including Manchester City, who bid for both brothers last summer. Those bids led to Atletico extending Theo's contract until 2021 and increasing the amount of the release clause from €6 million.
The a left-back has played in 29 league and cup games with Alaves and said last week in an interview with AS, another Spanish daily sports newspaper, that he was aware of Real Madrid's interest in signing him.
"But I am very relaxed, it is not the first time I have been linked with a big club," Theo said. "I belong to Atletico."
Although moves between the two clubs are rare, Marca reported that Real Madrid would have no problem ignoring the agreement they are supposed to have with Atletico Madrid regarding players in order to add Theo.
Atletico, meanwhile, are resigned to losing Theo, especially after his agent told the club that it is Theo's desire to play for Real Madrid, according to the newspaper.
ESPN FC Real Madrid correspondent Dermot Corrigan's take: In many ways Theo Hernandez would be a perfect signing for Real Madrid next summer - as one of their primary requirements is for a young, athletic, versatile left-sided defender.
Theo, 19, would be ideal back-up to first choice left-back Marcelo, who turns 29 in May. The youngster has been a revelation on loan at Alaves this season, and clearly has the ability and personality to be a big star.
In many ways he resembles a young Gareth Bale with his ability to charge up the sideline, outpacing and outmuscling rival players, and also cause danger close to the opposition goal. Defensively he is strong and aggressive in the tackle - and could be a back-up at centre-back should veteran Pepe as expected leave the Bernabeu in June.
The release clause price of €24 million does not look outlandish at all for a club of Madrid's means, with the only complicating factor being Atletico Madrid's sure unwillingness to let one of their best young players join their most bitter rivals.
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