RACE HEATS UP FOR YOUNG REAL ZARAGOZA DEFENDER JESUS VALLEJO
17 year old is attracting interest from top clubs across Europe
Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, and AC Milan are the favorites to sign the center back
Vallejo is available for free due to being on a youth contract
Considered one of the brightest young defenders to have come out of Spain since Carles Puyol, the race to land the signature of 17 year old Jesus Vallejo has certainly heated up over the past week. The Real Zaragoza youth product has been at the club since age 10 and has impressed scouts from across the continent with his stellar displays for the club's youth teams, especially last year with the Juvenil
Due to still being on a youth contract, Vallejo is technically available to any club who would like to open contract negotiations with the youngster, the transfer to cost only an insignificant compensation fee. Vallejo's agent, Carlos Lopez, has told reporters that "clubs from multiple world-class leagues" had made contact.
Jesus Vallejo was Real Zaragoza Juvenil's best player of the season last time around, earning himself a cap at the U17 level for the Spanish national team.
Currently, Barclays Premier League side Liverpool remain hot favorites to sign the teenager. Despite already having the likes of Tiago Illori and Andre Wisdom coming up the system in that position, Vallejo is considered to be the best prospect of them all, perhaps to displace Kolo Toure as fourth choice center back.
Atletico Madrid are fighting tooth and nail for Vallejo as well, however. Able to offer a chance to stay in Spain and yet also challenge for trophies and play in the Champions League, perhaps Los Colchoneros will be able to seal the deal. Michael Laudrup, having just taken charge of the capital city side, is well-known for his ability to bleed through youth, and there is talk he may be able to convince the Zaragoza man to come to Madrid.
While negotiations continue on behind the scenes, all we can do is sit tight and speculate as to where Vallejo will choose to go, as Zaragoza have already accepted that their starlet is on his way out. Reports coming out of Spain say we will know the defender's destination by the end of the week.