Real Madrid have loaned Japanese teenager Takefusa Kubo to Rea Mallorca for the upcoming La Liga season.
Madrid signed the 18-year-old attacking midfielder in June from FC Tokyo with the intention of having him play within the reserve team.
Kubo featured with the first team during the pre-season, in order for manager Zinedine Zidane and his coaching team to observe the player at close quarters.
Madrid believe that Kubo is ready to play top-flight football as opposed to spending time in their club’s Castilla team.
The attack-minded player spent four years in the Blaugrana’s La Masia youth academy but had to leave the club in 2015 when Barcelona were sanctioned for signing underage players illegally.
Kubo, who has been nicknamed ‘the Japanese Messi’, then signed for FC Tokyo but he celebrated his 18th birthday earlier this month and was subsequently available to return to European football – with Madrid pouncing.
The Japan Under-20 international was said to have caught the attention of sporting directors of ‘Europe’s biggest clubs’, including Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
Kubo netted six goals across 30 appearances for former club FC Tokyo and has impressed in pre-season performances for Madrid.