Leicester and Arsenal join Spanish giants in the race to sign Villarreal wonderkid

Leicester City and Arsenal have reportedly joined the race to sign Villarreal and Spain wonderkid Yeremi Pino.

Pino has been quietly going about his business over in Spain, already racking up 46 appearances in all competition, contributing eight goals and four assists.

He has quietly developed into one of Spain’s hottest prospects since joining Villarreal’s academy from Las Palmas in 2017, but has gained nowhere near the amount of publicity as the likes of Gavi or Pedri, until now…

His performances for the Yellow Submarine helped bring him to the attention of Spain boss Luis Enrique, who gave Pino his senior debut in Spain’s Nations League semi-final win over Italy, as well as clubs across Europe.

Pino came on for Ferran Torres in the 49th minute with Spain 2-0 up. An impressive, brave display against the Italians led Enrique to bring him off the bench again days later in the final. Pino played the last half an hour, France came from behind to win the game 2-1 at the San Siro.

His display against Italy earned the following review from Marca:

“He came off the bench to replace the injured Ferran [Torres] and played as though he had already featured in 30 official games with the national team.”

As well as catching the eye of Enrique, Pino has also gained attention from Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are also said to be watching Pino closely, as well as Leicester and Arsenal.

Leicester and Arsenal are both said to be in the market for wide players, City brought in Ademola Lookman on deadline day but he is only on loan whereas Arsenal could be looking for a better option than the talented but inconsistent Nicolas Pepe.

Real were supposedly leading the race for Pino last week but it has since been reported that they are reluctant to pay the €30m release clause.

It has been well documented that Florentino Perez is wanting to build for the future at the Bernabeu. Real have been linked with the likes of Giovanni Reyna, Fabio Carvalho and Agustin Alvarez. 

They have also already secured the signing of Jaime Vazquez, a 15-year-old centre back from Sporting Gijon.

The same applies at the Nou Camp. Barca want to build for the future and would like Pino to join the likes of Gavi, Pedri and Ansu Fati who are tipped to play a huge part in the next generation of the club.

Like Real, Barca have already started to target some of Europe’s hottest young talent. They are admirers of Arsenal’s Charlie Patino and have already agreed to sign Turkish prodigy Emre Demir.

Barca are also said to be monitoring Hammarby midfielder Williot Swedberg, Brighton keeper Carl Rushworth and Russian attacking midfielder Arsen Zakaryan.