Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has hinted at his concern that youngster Brahim Diaz could join Real Madrid next summer.
The Spaniard, who joined City’s youth system from Malaga in 2013, could move on in the next year if he is not given more first-team opportunities.
The 19-year-old has not started a league game for City while 10 of the midfielder’s 13 first-team appearances for City came last season.
Diaz netted twice in a rare start during Thursday’s 2-0 League Cup victory over Fulham.
“Brahim knows what we want for all of our young players,” Guardiola said after the Fulham match.
“We want to protect them and to help them – that goes for him all of the players in the academy. We want him but it does not depend on us but it is up to the agent, to the player, to the family.”
In September, Diario AS reported of Madrid’s interest in the teenager and cited comments the player made to El Mundo Deportivo during summer.
“My ambition is to play as much as I can, the more minutes you get the better you will be,” Diaz said.