Apart from loaning Fabio Coentrao to Sporting CP and announcing the purchase of Theo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid also made a significant roster move at the youth level.
Real Madrid has loaned Castilla defender Philipp Lienhart to the Bundesliga club SC Freiburg. This deal sees the Austrian native join the German club on a one-year deal that gives Freiburg the option to make the move permanent at the end of the trial.
SC Freiburg’s Sporting Director, Klemens Hartenbach, claimed that the club had been interested in the defender’s availability for quite some time.
"Philipp's a young centre-back, capable of development. His focused and clear style of play had attracted our attention already when with the Austrian national youth teams,” he said.
"In our talks, he already committed himself to us at an early stage. It was important to have the perspective to work with him longer for just one year," Hartenbach stated. “An Austrian U21 player who has been at Madrid for some time, and learned a lot there. He'll join us highly motivated. Those are the right ones for us, those who must want to learn a lot."
Leinhart has played well over 50 matches in a Real Madrid uniform — whether it be the main, B, or C team -– and has made one senior appearance for the first team. The Austrian made his first team debut on December 2, 2015, in a Copa del Rey win against Cadiz CF. Leinhart subbed on for James Rodriguez and played twelve minutes.
Growing up in Rapid Wien’s youth system, Leinhart was loaned to Real Madrid C during the 2014-15 season. In that year, the Austrian U-21 star impressed the coaching staff enough to warrant a permanent move to the club. Madrid signed the 20-year-old for €800,000 and was immediately promoted to the reserve team by manager Zinedine Zidane.