Real Madrid are edging closer towards completing the signing of Keita Balde after the player reached an agreement in principle with the European champions to join them on a five-year deal. The 21-year-old has managed 10 goals in 77 matches played for the Italian side.
According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Real are keen on landing the striker this summer as their manager Zinedine Zidane wants to seal the deal for Balde. The La Liga giants are yet to reach an agreement with Lazio as the player is tied up with the Serie A outfit until 2018.
The Champions League winners have already made contact with Balde's lawyer Rafael Coto as they remain hopeful he can help Real bring him to Santiago Bernabeu. Should they successfully manage to land him, it is still unclear whether Zidane wants to keep him at the club or send him out on loan so that he can gain experience.
Balde was at Barcelona's academy before leaving the Catalan club for Lazio in 2011. After spending two years in their academy, he was promoted to the first team and made his senior debut in September 2013.
He was born in Spain to parents of Senegalese descent and was eligible to play for both countries. However, Balde decided to join the African nation and made his debut for them earlier in March.
The Sun reports Balde is set to become Real's first summer signing. The Lazio striker has publicly expressed his desire to play for Europe's elite clubs in the future. He has set his sights on wearing the shirt of either Real, Barcelona or Manchester United.
"I have a contract until 2018 and for the time being I will stay here. My ambition is to get to play for the best teams in the world such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United. It's the dream of all players," Balde told La Lazio Siamo Noi.