Bengaluru, June 6: Manchester City will battle Liverpool and Real Madrid to the signing of Japanese wonderkid Takefusa Kubo, according to reports in England.
The forward, who turned 18 yesterday, has grabbed the attention of Europe's biggest scouts after Barcelona had to release him from their academy.
The Japanese wonderkid was signed into the Catalan giants' La Masia youth academy but was forced to leave the club in 2015 after Barcelona were found guilty of signing underage players illegally.
He returned to FC Tokyo where he has earned the nickname the "Japanese Messi."
Now after reaching 18, there is nothing stopping him from continuing his development in Europe.
According to the Japanese media, both City and Madrid are the front-runners to land his signature.
Barcelona have also not given up their home of bringing him back although Catalonia appears an unlikely destination.
French giants Paris Saint-Germain are also monitoring closely.
The signing will also provide a huge marketing opportunity with Kubo ready to become the darling of Japanese football in near future.
Shinji Kagawa, Keisuke Honda, Shinji Nakamura and Hidetoshi Nakata were some high-profile Japanese players who had plenty success in Europe.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is also believed to be a huge fan of the youngster and he was the manager who gave Japanese icon Shinji Kagawa the opportunity to make his name in Germany and Europe.