Real Madrid midfielder Lucas Silva will play at Olympique Marseille next season after the Spanish giants announced an agreement to loan the Brazilian to the Ligue 1 side until 30 June 2016. Rafa Benitez is continuing to reshuffle his midfield, having agreed earlier this week to send Asier Illarramendi back to Real Sociedad.
Silva, 22, has been linked with a move to a number of Premier League clubs in recent days after being informed by the Real Madrid boss that he is surplus to requirements at the club. Regarded as one of the most promising stars to emerge from the prolific Brazilian youth academy, he was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal during last January's transfer window. However, Real Madrid managed to beat the Premier League giants to secure his services after agreeing to pay about £10m to Cruzeiro.
After the Brazilian failed to make the expected impact in La Liga – with just three starting appearances last season – Benitez admitted earlier in the summer that Silva will be allowed to move to another club on loan to complete his development abroad. Nevertheless, with Colombian James Rodriguez in the squad and after the arrival of both Casemiro and Danilo in the current transfer window, Benitez had to dispose of one non-EU player to fulfil La Liga regulations.
Spanish newspaper AS broke the news earlier this week that Marseille were in pole position to secure his services but claimed that Arsenal, Manchester United, Southampton and Chelsea were also interested. Real Madrid have now confirmed that Silva will finally move to Marseille after reached a loan agreement with the Ligue 1 side.
"Real Madrid CF have reached an agreement to loan the player Lucas Silva to Olympique de Marseille until 30 June 2016," the Spanish club confirmed.