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Real Madrid 'in talks over £1m deal for Reading wonderkid'

Real Madrid 'in talks over £1m deal for Reading wonderkid'
© Reuters
Real Madrid are reportedly discussing a £1m deal for 18-year-old Reading striker Caylan Vickers, who is also on the radar of Arsenal.

Real Madrid are reportedly discussing a £1m deal for Reading teenage protege Caylan Vickers.

The 2004-born Royals academy graduate - who celebrates his 19th birthday later this month - has been a shining light in another troubled campaign for Reading both on and off the field.

Vickers has already made 18 appearances for the senior Reading side in all tournaments, amassing three goals and three assists in the process, all of which have come in the 2023-24 campaign.

Primarily a centre-forward, Vickers is also comfortable on both flanks and has featured regularly in League One, the EFL Cup and EFL Trophy for Ruben Selles's side, with whom he only signed a professional contract in the summer.

Vickers's notable exploits include the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over title-chasing Bolton Wanderers in September, as well as a goal against Arsenal's Under-21s in a 5-2 EFL Trophy success.

Southampton manager Ruben Selles pictured on April 21, 2023© Reuters

According to The Sun, Vickers's exploits in the third tier of English football have caught the attention of La Liga giants Real Madrid, who are in talks over a cut-price move for the attacker.

Los Blancos are thought to be one of several sides keeping tabs on Vickers, who has also been watched by Arsenal, Celtic, Leicester City and Norwich City over the past few months.

Carlo Ancelotti's side are believed to be ahead of the quartet in the race, though, having begun negotiations with Reading in the past week, and a fee of £1m is being discussed.

The Royals would supposedly also want a sell-on clause to be included in any deal to send Vickers to the Bernabeu, but there is hope that a deal will go through given Reading's desperate need for funds.

However, Vickers would not go straight into Ancelotti's first-team setup at Real Madrid and would instead ply his trade with their Castilla outfit, who are managed by legendary ex-Real striker Raul.

Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham wins the Kopa Trophy at the Ballon d'Or awards on October 30, 2023© Reuters

There is hope that the 18-year-old - once he is deemed ready for first-team promotion - could follow a similar path to Jude Bellingham, who has hit the ground running in Madrid since departing Borussia Dortmund over the summer.

The former Birmingham City youngster netted his 16th goal of the season in Saturday's 1-1 draw against Real Betis, tucking home the opener before a stunning Aitor Ruibal response restricted Los Blancos to just one point.

Real remain at the top of the table despite dropping two points to Manuel Pellegrini's side, but they could be knocked off their perch if surprise package Girona claim a shock win over Barcelona on Sunday night.

Ancelotti's men now turn their attention to Tuesday's Champions League trip to Union Berlin before resuming La Liga duties at home to Villarreal next Sunday evening.

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