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Fabrizio Romano confirms 22-year-old Real Madrid prodigy is heading to Italy

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(Photo by Diego Souto/Getty Images)

News has been circulating in recent weeks about Real Madrid’s squad for next season regarding signings and departures. One of the names that has been in the news in recent weeks is that of center-back Rafa Marin.

So, what exactly is happening with the young Spaniard? Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has provided updates.

Off to Naples

Rafa Marín, one of the most promising young talents from Real Madrid, is set to join Napoli. This move is poised to strengthen Napoli’s defense, with Marín undergoing his medical examination in Roma on Monday. The financial details of the transfer have been a significant talking point, reflecting the high expectations both clubs have for the player.

Transfer Details

Napoli will pay a fixed fee of €12 million to Real Madrid for Rafa Marín. This transfer is a testament to Napoli’s strategic planning and Real Madrid’s confidence in their youth system. The deal includes several clauses that could potentially benefit both clubs in the future.

Buy-Back Clauses

Real Madrid has secured a buy-back option as part of the transfer agreement. This clause allows Real Madrid to re-sign Rafa Marín for €25 million in 2026 or €35 million in 2027. This arrangement provides Real Madrid with the flexibility to bring back a player who might significantly develop during his time in Serie A.

Enhanced Clause in 2025

An interesting aspect of the deal according to Fabrizio is the provision for Napoli in 2025. If they choose to, Napoli can pay an additional €10 million to alter the buy-back clause. By doing so, the value of the buy-back clause for Real Madrid would double, increasing to €50 million in 2026 and €70 million in 2027. This clause acts as an insurance policy for Napoli, ensuring they retain greater control over Marín’s future if he becomes an indispensable part of their squad.

Strategic Move for Both Clubs

For Napoli, securing a young and talented defender like Rafa Marín aligns with their long-term strategy of building a robust squad capable of competing at the highest levels in Europe. Marín, known for his strong defensive skills and ability to read the game, fits well into Napoli’s tactical setup.

For Real Madrid, the deal is a smart financial move. It not only brings in a substantial fee upfront but also keeps the door open for Marín’s return if he reaches his potential. The buy-back clauses provide a safety net, allowing Real Madrid to bring back a more experienced and potentially world-class defender.

Rafa Marín’s Potential

Rafa Marín, who has been part of Real Madrid’s youth academy, La Fábrica, since a young age, has shown immense promise. His performances in the youth leagues and occasional appearances for the senior team have highlighted his defensive capabilities and potential for growth. Moving to Napoli will offer Marín the opportunity to gain regular first-team experience in one of Europe’s top leagues, which could be crucial for his development. He spent last season on loan at Deportivo Alaves in the Spanish topflight.

At 22 years old, his value according to the Transfermarkt portal is just under 8 million euros.

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