Raul de Tomas appears to be the latest Real Madrid player who the club are set to cash-in upon despite playing a minimal role in their first-team. Indeed, the case of the 24-year-old is particularly pronounced – he has played just one senior game for Los Blancos and none across the past four seasons, but now he appears set to join Benfica in a €25m deal.
The 24-year-old netted 14 La Liga goals in 32 starts on loan at Rayo Vallecano this season but it was not enough to save the side from relegation back to the second tier. He has frequently spoken of his desire to fight for his place in the first-team at Madrid but the acquisitions of Luka Jovic and Eden Hazard have seen these hopes go from slim to virtually none.
Madrid are set to sell a number of their young Spanish players for big fees this summer to help offset the massive spend they have already embarked upon – €300m in transfer fees alone. Marcos Llorente, who had started just 11 La Liga matches for the club, was sold for a cool €40m to Atletico Madrid. Theo Hernandez started one league game fewer in his one full season in Madrid’s first-team squad, but is now set to join Milan in a €20m move. Another fringe figure, if not a youth product, Mateo Kovacic has departed to Chelsea in a €45m move.
A previous report in Marca stated there had previously been reported interest in de Tomas from Real Betis and Valencia, while the Madrid native is reported to have been keen to stay in the Spanish capital. There had been widespread reports that he was on the verge of a call-up to the Spanish national team (he would have been the first player to represent La Roja and Rayo Vallecano since 2000) due to his fine form in Vallecas.
De Tomas was also key in Rayo’s promotion – netting 24 league goals in a season-long loan deal at the club, while he grabbed 14 for Real Valladolid the year prior to that. Benfica may well be the ideal location – offering regular first-team football, the chance to play in European competition and to win regular trophies. The Spaniard is sure to prove prolific in the Portuguese top flight should he avoid injury, even if the outlay is a significant one for the club.
For Real Madrid, the €25m exit of de Tomas shows the club are expert negotiators and can continue to make profit from their youth players who just fall short of making the grade at the Santiago Bernabeu.
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