Takefuso 'Take' Kubo was one of the brightest talents in FC Barcelona's La Masia academy system. Today it's been confirmed that he will join Real Madrid and play for Castilla next season.
In 2014 a FIFA investigation found that Barça were guilty of illegally signing youngsters from abroad and as such were forced to let Take leave in order for him to continue his development as a footballer. But now he's eligible for a return to Europe, why is he joining Madrid rather than Barça?
The reasons are various and complex but Barça have continued to monitor his progress from aware and recently with FC Tokyo in the J-League (16 appearances: 5 goals, 4 assists). At the beginning of this month, he made his full debut for the Japanese national side and will form part of their Copa America 2019 squad.
Barça were willing to sign Take and send him to the Barça B side. The player was willing to spend a year with the youth side but wanted guarantees he'd be part of the senior squad in his second season there. Barça refused to include this clause whilst Real Madrid agreed to it.
Take's representatives were insistent they wanted him to earn €1m per season. Barça said no one in their academy side was earning that kind of money and weren't willing to go beyond €250,000. Once again, Madrid were happy to match the terms asked for.
MADRID MOVED QUICKER THAN EVERYONE ELSE
In 2017 SPORT explained that Barça were monitoring Take's progress ever since he left the club. Real Madrid and PSG gathered reports on the youngster as well. The club decided not to make a move this summer but responded when news of other side's making offers to Take became public. However at this point, Madrid had already jumped to the front of the queue and have signed the 18-year-old on a five-year deal.