La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid have set their sights on 19-year-old Celta Vigo sensation Hugo Sotelo, according to Spanish journalist Oscar Mendez.
The prodigious youngster has been with the Galician club’s academy for over a decade but has struggled to break into the first team, making just three senior appearances since his debut as a 17-year-old in 2021.
However, the midfielder has caught the eye with a series of impressive performances for Celta’s reserve side.
Barcelona and Real Madrid are always on the lookout for the next bright young talent, and they have poached several wonderkids in recent years.
Barcelona snapped up Pablo Torre last summer, while Real Madrid secured the signing of Brazilian starlet Endrick, who will join the club when he turns 18 later this year. Now, the two Spanish heavyweights appear keen on Sotelo.
Barcelona’s financial troubles have forced them to focus on youth development and shrewd signings. Several young stars like Pedri, Gavi and Alejandro Balde have flourished as a result. Barcelona reportedly have other promising youngsters like Fabricio Diaz in their sights.
Real Madrid and Barcelona monitoring Spanish wonderkid Hugo Sotelo
Real Madrid, too, have invested heavily in youth over the past six years under Florentino Perez’s leadership. This approach has allowed a seamless transition between generations.
Coincidentally, Real Madrid are also interested in another Celta Vigo prodigy, Gabri Veiga.
The €20 million release clause in Sotelo’s contract means he would not be an extravagant purchase for either club. While Real Madrid would likely have no qualms triggering that fee, it remains to be seen if Barcelona can afford to do so given their economic challenges.
Sotelo is undoubtedly a talent worth monitoring. His technical ability, vision and penchant for defence-splitting passes have drawn comparisons to former Spain star Xavi.
If he continues his upward trajectory, it may not be long before Sotelo emulates his idol in the colours of Barcelona or Real Madrid. For now, though, Celta Vigo and Spain’s under-19s are benefitting from his prodigious gifts.