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PSG battling with Barcelona to complete signing of ‘Japanese Messi’

Barca were forced by Fifa to release midfield sensation, now 16, in 2015 and now might not get him back

PSG are set to spark another transfer war with Barcelona as they eye a swoop for ‘Japanese Messi’ Takefusa Kubo.

The Spanish giants were forced to release the midfield sensation, then 13, in 2015 when they were sanctioned by Fifa for breaking rules on signing international youth players.

Takefusa Kubo

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Takefusa Kubo is wanted by Barcelona and PSG when he turns 18

Takefusa Kubo Barcelona

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Barcelona were forced to release Takefusa Kubo in 2015 but hope to resign him

Kubo moved back to his homeland and has since made his full debut with FC Tokyo.

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And now, aged 16, he is on the radar of a number of top European clubs after starring in last month’s U17s World Cup.

Barca have kept a keen eye on the youngster’s progress and it was believed to be a formality that he would return to the Nou Camp when he can move again aged 18.

But, according to France Football, PSG officials have made contact with Kubo’s representatives in a bid to tempt him to move to Ligue 1 instead.

Unai Emery believes Neymar is still adjusting to his new surroundings

Neymar signed for PSG in a controversial world-record move from Barcelona last summer

Takefusa Kubo

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Takefusa Kubo has been compared to Barcelona legend Lionel Messi

Barca and PSG are already bitter rivals after the summer’s controversial Neymar transfer tussle.

And missing out on Kubo would be a major blow to the Catalan club who rated him as one of their top prospects during his two years at La Masia academy.

But Barca are still understood to be in pole position for his signature with Sport reporting that Kubo still visits former team-mates at the club once a year.

Kubo last month revealed he does not enjoy being compared to Barca and Argentina hero Lionel Messi.

He said: “I don’t like being compared to Messi but one day I hope to be like him.”