Real Madrid are rivalling Barcelona in the race to sign FC Tokyo forward Takefusa Kubo this summer, according to Marca.
The attack-minded player spent four years in the Blaugrana’s La Masia youth academy but had to leave the club in 2015 when Barca were sanctioned for signing underage players illegally.
Kubo, who has been nicknamed ‘the Japanese Messi’, then signed for FC Tokyo but he celebrates his 18th birthday in June and will subsequently be available to return to European football.
The report outlines how sporting directors of ‘Europe’s biggest clubs’ including Barcelona and Madrid are monitoring the player, who has two goals in 20 professional appearances.
Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be in the running to sign the Japan Under-20 international.