The transfer embargo set on Barcelona for the entirety of 2015 not only hampers the Spanish club’s ability to evolve their squad, but hands their arch rivals, Real Madrid, a huge advantage in the market too.
Such a leg up couldn’t be more obvious than in the news that Los Blancos have agreed a fee, thought to be around £23m, for Brazilian Porto right-back Danilo.
With Dani Alves’ future more unknown than the next piece of confectionary to come out of a bag of Revels, the Blaugrana would surely have eyes on a player such as the 23-year-old as a replacement should Alves bid them farewell.
As it is, Carlo Ancelotti’s side have nipped in to lure the Bicas-born raider to the Santiago Bernabeu and will see Danilo grace that turf next season, when the deal is completed.
It certainly seems like Real have landed themselves a talent, with the America youth openly admitting that he has modelled his game on that of legendary countryman Cafu.
After 37 senior appearances for America, Danilo made the switch to Brazilian big boys Santos in 2010, going on to play 49 times for them and chipping in with five goals.
Having featured in the 2011 Fifa Club World Cup, the defender sealed a switch to Porto in January of the following year, signing for a reported £9.5m on a five-year deal.
Soon after displacing Cristian Sapunara as the first-choice right-back, Danilo claimed consecutive Primeira Liga titles under Vitor Pereira’s watch and has since been immovable on the flank, racking up 132-all competition appearances and scoring 10 goals.
A silver-medalist with Brazil at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Los-Blanco-in-waiting is now a regular in the senior side under head coach Dunga.
His arrival at the Bernabeu will see him compete with a Spanish pair, Daniel Carvajal and Alvaro Arbeloa, for game time, but his attacking prowess should at least see him usurp the latter in the pecking order under Ancelotti.
Real Madrid are currently 11/4 with bwin.com to chase down the four-point lead Barca hold over them in the race for the La Liga title and are 4/1 to retain their Champions League crown with local rivals Atletico their next assignment in the competition.