Spain's biggest rivals will go to war over the signature of 12-year-old Hugo Alvarez with reports both Real Madrid and Barcelona will try to sign Celta Vigo's starlet.
Alvarez, also known as "Huguito" among Celta's youth ranks, has become subjected to interest from all over Spain, but Sport claimed El Clasico giants Barca and Real are now in the running.
Of the two teams, Barcelona perhaps hold the greater reputation for successfully promoting academy players within their first-team ranks, with a host of La Masia graduates lining up for Luis Enrique's side this season.
However, Real Madrid TV presenter Phil Kitromilides highlighted Los Blancos' bench in a clash against Levante earlier this season, with every substitute being a former member of the Castilla academy:
Phil Kitromilides @PhilKitro
Every one of Real Madrid's substitutes today is a product of the youth academy.10/17/2015, 3:02:48 PM
Sport said Alvarez most recently shone for Celta during a tournament in China, where his team finished third and he claimed the Most Valuable Player award.
The fact he's so obviously sticking out from the crowd at this age signifies Alvarez already has a jump over his peers in terms of development, and Spain's powerhouses are clearly eager to nourish that talent.
Sport also claimed Barca would have an inevitable advantage in the pursuit of the 12-year-old talent owing to their age-old relationship with Celta and former Blaugrana players often joining the Vigo outfit.
Norwegian prodigy Martin Odegaard was one of the latest youngsters to hit Spanish headlines when he joined Los Merengues at the age of 16 last January. However, Real boss Rafa Benitez recently said the player isn't yet ready for first-team action, per ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan:
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan
Rafa: “Odegaard is a player who could help out, but at moment is not in the squad.”12/1/2015, 12:18:54 PM
Alvarez could follow in his footsteps by making the move to one of Europe's major powers before even becoming a teenager.
The hunt to acquire "the next big thing" is evidently more furious than ever as La Liga's biggest clubs prepare to do battle for a player Sport said "already stands out above the rest."
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