Barcelona and Real Madrid are reportedly poised to battle it out for Villarreal winger Yeremi Pino, who is being billed as the next rising star of Spanish football.
According to a report from Spanish publication Fichajes, Barcelona and Real Madrid are closely monitoring Villarreal’s teenage sensation, Yeremi Pino, as they look to bolster their attacking units.
Having started at the Las Palmas academy, Pino spent a couple of years with the CD Roda youth setup before making his way to Villarreal in 2019. The young winger got his first-team debut in October last year and he has since grown into a regular fixture in Unai Emery’s side, racking up 44 senior appearances, bagging eight goals and setting up four more.
Pino was part of the team that started in the UEFA Europa League final against Manchester United last season as Villarreal went on to lift the trophy. He has started the new season on a positive note as well, contributing one goal and three assists in just five La Liga outings.
The six-time capped Spain Under-21 international’s rapid development has not gone unnoticed as two of the biggest clubs in La Liga, Real Madrid and Barcelona, are now interested in securing his services.
Barcelona finally ended their recent run of poor results with a 3-0 win over Levante this past weekend, with returning star Ansu Fati proving to be the catalyst. However, apart from him, Memphis Depay and, to an extent, Ousmane Dembele, the Catalans lack the requisite quality and flair in the attacking unit.
Yusuf Demir is a player that has enjoyed minutes under Ronald Koeman but it is clear that he has still some way to go for him to be able to impact games on a regular basis at this level. And while Pino is of a similar age as the Austrian, he has one full season of La Liga football under his belt and has been extremely impressive, making him a target worth looking at for the Blaugrana.
As for Real Madrid, they have shifted their focus towards recruiting young players from Spain and across the globe to build a team of superstars for the future. They have some of the most exciting young talent in football currently with the likes of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde to name a few.
And, signing Pino would fit into that model. Considering that Eden Hazard continues to falter at every given opportunity, the time might be ripe for Los Blancos to cut their losses with the Belgian and invest in a youth talent like the Villarreal sensation who has shown great promise and can grow into a vital player for them in a few years.
With the two La Liga heavyweights set to battle it out for the Villarreal winger, it will be interesting to see if Pino does end up leaving the Yellow Submarine in the near future.