Real Madrid are reportedly set to go head-to-head with arch-rivals Barcelona for the signing of Villarreal’s teenage prodigy Enrique Herrero this summer.

According to a report from Spanish outlet Defensa Central, La Liga bigwigs Barcelona and Real Madrid are ready to battle it out against each other for the transfer of Villarreal’s 16-year-old prospect Enrique Herrero.

Herrero has been with the Villarreal youth setup for years now and is widely regarded as one of the finest young prospects coming through in Spanish football. A forward by trade, the 16-year-old was named the player of the La Liga Promises tournament in 2017 and had plundered 18 goals during the 2019/20 season before the campaign was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Herrero has scored 57 goals in his youth career so far and has also represented the Spanish national team at the Under-15 level, for whom he has three goals in three matches. Given the potential that the teenage prodigy has shown, there has been plenty of interest in his services for quite some time now. With his contract with Villarreal set to expire now, the 16-year-old is set to be on the move in the summer.

Indeed, Herrero is said to have refused the terms offered by the Yellow Submarine over a new deal, which led to him not playing since December 2020. Despite that, clubs in Spain and across Europe are lining up to sign him on a free transfer, with Barcelona and Real Madrid believed to be at the centre of the transfer tug-of-war for the teenage forward.

While there may have been no first-team additions made by Real Madrid so far, apart from David Alaba, the Merengues are working hard to strengthen their youth ranks, having targeted several talented prospects within Spain land outside like Javier Villar, while also signing a couple including Ruben Montero and Jose Maria Arevalo already.

Herrero has now emerged as the latest target for the Spanish capital outfit as they look to build a strong roster at La Fabrica but will have to battle arch-rivals Barcelona for his signing. The Catalans have been making quite the headway with regard to strengthening their first-team squad this summer already, but under Joan Laporta, there has been a renewed focus towards adding more talent to La Masia as well with an eye on the future.

To that end, Barcelona are already ready to clash with Real Madrid for the services of 12-year-old sensation Bryan Bugarin, with Herrero also emerging as a target for the Blaugrana. Apart from the two La Liga giants, even Serie A bigwigs Juventus are making a play to sign the 16-year-old Villarreal ace on a free transfer. It now remains to be seen who comes out on top in this intriguing race for the teenage sensation.

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