?Barcelona are planning to make a move for 17-year-old Japanese starlet Jun Nishikawa, according to reports.
Nishikawa currently plies his trade for Cerezo Osaka, making four appearances for the J-League side this season. Barcelona are understood to have been made aware of his talents while scouting fellow Japanese wonderkid Hiroki Abe, who joined Barça in the summer.
As reported by ?Mundo Deportivo, the Spanish club have been in contact with Cerezo Osaka to discuss a potential switch, though they will have to wait until at least a month to finalise a deal. This is because the attacking-midfielder will not become eligible for a move to Europe until he turns 18 in February.
Cerezo Osaka boss Miguel Angel Lotina, who has previously managed the likes of Villareal and Espanyol in his native Spain, is understood to have given a glowing account of the player’s ability to ?Barcelona, helping to convince them to pursue their interest.
The success of Abe since he joined the club last year will also encourage Blaugrana, with the wide forward making a strong impression for the B team in his first few months in Catalonia. The 20-year-old has managed four goals in 17 appearances so far.
If Nishikawa does complete a move to Barça it will swell the number of young Japanese stars in La Liga further, with Takfusa Kubo also recently moving to the league with Real Madrid. After arriving at Santiago Bernabeu in the summer, Kubo was sent on-loan to RCD Mallorca where he has gone to make 16 appearances.
Barcelona return to ?La Liga action when they take on Granada on Sunday in what will be Quique Setién’s first match in charge following the sacking of Ernesto Valverde. A 3-2 defeat to Atletico in the Supercopa de Espana proved to be the much maligned Valverde’s final game at the club, with former Real Betis boss Seitan confirmed as his replacement on Monday morning.
For more from Matt O’Connor-Simpson, follow him on Twitter!