The most exciting prospect in Japanese football, newly turned 18-year-old Takefuso Kubo is also a prime target of Barcelona, Manchester City and PSG.
Having already secured Vinicius, Rodrygo and Brahim Diaz, Real Madrid continue on their hunt for young talent, with the club's scouts casting their eyes as far as Japan.
And in Tokyo, Los Blancos have been closely monitoring 18-year-old Takefusa Kubo, the most exciting young talent in Japanese football, where he is widely known as ‘the Japanese Messi’.
In fact, the young FC Tokyo striker is already well known in Barcelona, where he spent four years at the La Masía youth academy until the Catalan club had to let him go in 2015 due to a FIFA sanction related to signing minors.
Man City, PSG and Barca all in the running with Madrid
Now, having just turned 18 on June 4, Koba could soon make his return to Europe as an adult, where Manchester City are also reportedly vying for his signature.
Takefusa Kubo turns 18 today!— FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) 4 June 2019
✅30 games, 6 goals & 4 assists for FC Tokyo
✅6 games, 1 goal & 1 assist for Yokohama F. Marinos
✅4 years in La Masia
✅first senior international call-up
✅nicknamed the 'Japanese Messi'
Potential to become the best Asian player ever. HBD, Take! pic.twitter.com/zHlxVMcYhV
Also in the bidding are Barcelona, who already tried to bring him back to La Masía, but failed to do so as his representatives demanded that he sign for the first team. But PSG have so far been the most aggressive in attempts to sign the Japanese youngster.
Kubo earns call up for Copa América
After having shone at FC Tokyo in the J-League during the second half of the season, Kubo has won his call-up to the Japanese national team for the upcoming Copa América, where he could become the youngest ever debutant for the Samurai Blue.
Kubo would not be the only Japanese player among Madrid’s ranks were he to join the club. His younger compatriot, Takuhiro Nakai (better known as ‘Pipi’) has been part of the underage setup at La Fábrica for eight years and will turn 16 in October.