Takefusa Kebo could see his loan spell at Villarreal cut short amid a lack of minutes under Unai Emery with the Japanese international looking likely to return to Real Madrid.
The 19-year-old joined Villarreal on a season-long loan deal in the summer with chances of action in Zinedine Zidane8217;s first-team at Real Madrid unlikely.
But the winger has just started twice in 14 LaLiga games for Emery’s side so far this season and according to Spanish outlet Diario AS, the ex-Arsenal manager is hunting reinforcements in January which could be curtains for Kubo’s role in the squad.
The report details that Emery wants to find a replacement for midfielder Vicente Iborra, who is out for the rest of the season.
The Villarreal boss could look to sign a non-EU player for the second-half of the 2020-21 campaign, with Kubo currently occupying one of those designated spots.
As a result, Kubo’s loan spell at the Yellow Submarine could be terminated next month.
The teenager signed for Madrid in 2019 from FC Tokyo on a five-year deal, and spent last season on loan at Mallorca.
Kubo scored four times in 35 appearances for Mallorca, but couldn’t stop the club’s relegation to Segunda Division after they finished 19th in the table.
But he has struggled for regular minutes this season, though has made four appearances in the Europa League for Emery’s side, who qualified for the last-32 of the competition.
He was an unused substitute in the 3-1 weekend win over Osasuna in the league, which left Villarreal a respectable fourth in the table.
Zidane is unlikely to call upon Kubo on a regular basis should he return to the LaLiga champions in January.