Lucas Silva
Silva would thrive in Premier League or La Liga, says teammate Baptista. Getty

Former Real Madrid and Arsenal forward Julio Baptista has urged the Spanish giants to sign Brazilian starlet Lucas Silva.

The 21-year-old midfielder was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United during the summer transfer window after his agent revealed an approach from Louis van Gaal's side.

But Silva's growing reputation in his homeland where he plays for Cruzeiro has also caught the attention of Real Madrid, who have reportedly earmarked the youngster as a replacement for Sami Khedira amid continued speculation suggesting the German could join Arsenal or Chelsea in January.

Baptista, who returned to Brazil following a career in Europe that also included spells at Sevilla, Roma and Malaga in 2013, has had a first-hand look at Silva's rise to prominence and believes the youngster would thrive in Spain or England.

When asked whether Real Madrid should make an official approach for the player, Baptista told Marca: "It would be a wise move. The first day I saw him I knew he was a player that would turn heads and I told him so.

"He's a two touch player, a quality that would fit right in in Spain or the Premier League. In Brazil, players hog the ball, but Lucas plays it quickly.

"He is already doing it at Cruzeiro. He is ready to make the giant leap to Europe and into a big club like Madrid, but he needs time to settle, because it is not an easy club. But in terms of footballing ability there is no doubt he'd fit in very nicely at Real Madrid. He's a player brimming with talent."

Amid reported interest from Carlo Ancelotti's side, Silva made it unequivocally clear he would jump at the chance to move to Santiago Bernabeu. He also told Marca: "Of course I'd like to play for Real Madrid, it would be an honour. But for that to happen, an agreement between the clubs would need to be put in place first.

"I'm a Cruzeiro player and have so much respect for my club. If a club like Real Madrid comes along, I wouldn't turn them down."

Silva represented his country at the Toulon Tournament earlier this summer. The midfielder scored what turned out to be the winner in his country's clash with England en route to winning the championship.