Japan's ascendant star playmaker Takefusa Kubo will join Spanish giants Real Madrid from J-League first-division side FC Tokyo on a full transfer, the two clubs said Friday.
Just days after making his national team debut against El Salvador in a friendly, the 18-year-old has agreed terms with the 13-time European champions.
The attacking midfielder, who can also play as a secondary striker or on the wing, will initially join the Spanish club's reserve team, Real Madrid Castilla.
Kubo is currently in Brazil with the Japanese national side, who are preparing to contest the Copa America as an invited nation.
He took part in training Thursday with Hajime Moriyasu's squad in San Paulo ahead of the 12-team tournament to be held between Friday and July 7, but left without speaking to reporters.
According to Spanish sports newspaper Marca, Kubo has been offered a 1 million euro salary and a five-year contract, with Real Madrid to pay a 2 million euro transfer fee to the Tokyo club.
Barcelona and Paris Saint-German were also rumored to be in the running to secure the services of Kubo, who is now free to move after turning 18 on June 4.
The attacker has been on a hot recent scoring streak in the J-League first-division, netting four goals across his last four games this season, but now has a chance to make a much bigger splash for one of the world's most prestigious teams.
It will not be Kubo's first taste of Spain, however, as the young prospect was invited to enter the Barcelona youth academy at age 9, earning him the nickname "Japanese Messi."
His first Spanish stint ended in difficult circumstances as, following three seasons in the Barcelona system, he returned to Japan after the club was hit by a transfer ban for breaching FIFA rules on the recruitment of junior players from overseas.
Kubo is considered a likely selection for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, where the men's soccer tournament will be contested by under-23 teams with a limited number of overage players.