Brazilian forward Rodrygo is ready to sew up his future with Real Madrid this week—and become its latest talent with a €1 billion ($1.05 billion) release clause.
After club and international teammate Vinícius Júnior rounded off October by signing a lucrative contract until 2027, securing the 22-year-old’s services has become the next priority. Real is solidifying its squad base for the coming campaigns rather than eyeing a transfer overhaul.
Real has conducted internal talks with central players like Rodrygo, reportedly set to continue until 2028. Still, it has waited to release news of these significant extensions publicly.
Before getting Vinícius over the line, it committed midfielders Eduardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde—not officially announced yet—to fresh deals. To mark their importance to the team, it has also attached a €1 billion ($1.05 billion) release clause to each player, much like rival Barcelona’s habit with its young and fast-developing stars.
There had been some varying accounts as to whether Rodrygo might stay or eventually find a new home. With two goals this campaign, the number 11 has not stood out from the crowd lately. Although, practically every player has found himself outshone by Jude Bellingham’s phenomenal start to life in Madrid—culminating in his heroics in El Clásico last weekend.
Los Blancos, soon to complete its Estadio Santiago Bernabéu revamp—a project totaling approximately €1 billion ($1.05 billion) in outlay—spent around €130 million ($138 million) on recruits in the summer transfer market, opening the door to at least one high-profile sale; accepting a handsome offer could have offset some costs and helped finance a move long-term target Kylian Mbappé, for instance. However, such an outgoing has not come to fruition and won’t for a while.
Unsurprisingly, Rodrygo has caught the attention and been subject to tentative links with Liverpool, among others. Most effective drifting across the frontline, he can also play the center-forward role effectively, finishing clinically despite not carrying the same presence as ex-forward Karim Benzema—the club’s last real focal point in the offensive third.
Real rarely sells important players without good reason. Last summer, it allowed Casemiro—the anchor in midfield alongside Luka Modric and Toni Kroos—to leave for Manchester United, but only for an initial €70 million ($74 million). Even in an inflated market, that wasn’t bad for a then 30-year-old, and it underlined Real’s command at the negotiating table. In the same vein, it has not felt obliged to cash on peripheral figures like Eden Hazard and Mariano Díaz in the past.
In his early career days, Rodrygo has earned acclaim from a demanding fanbase, with his last-gasp Champions League winners against Manchester City the highlight of his four-year showreel in Spain. Staying a centerpiece to Real’s success will be tough going. But the club still regards him as one of the best, and the imminent billion-dollar tag proves that.
Well-versed at plucking the next-best things, Real does its homework with prospects like Rodrygo—who didn’t make the recent 30-name Ballon d’Or shortlist—but will receive a welcome boost after the formalities are finally done and dusted. Prolonging his stay for the foreseeable future should come as little surprise. Now, he must prove his worth again.