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PINO: REAL MADRID HANDED BIG BLOW

Real Madrid have been dealt a big blow in their pursuit of young Villarreal attacker Jeremy Pino with the news that the Spanish international is closing in on a new contract with the Yellow Submarines.

The report from Catalan news outlet El Nacional stated that Pino is on the verge of putting pen to paper on a six-year deal at Villarreal until the summer of 2027. The news of a contract extension is a big blow to Real Madrid who wanted to trigger the €35m release clause in his Villarreal contract.

Spanish attacker Pino has been a Villarreal player since he joined the club from fellow Spanish team UD Las Palmas four years ago. Pino came through the Villarreal youth system before making his debut for the first team at the start of last season. He was given his debut by Spanish tactician Unai Emery.

Real Madrid target Pino has scored nine goals and four assists in 52 games in all competitions. His form for Villarreal prompted him to become a regular in the Spanish national team setup under manager Luis Enrique.Pino is on the radar of big European teams such as Real Madrid due to his form for Villarreal. The Spaniard played his part in the UEFA Europa League triumph enjoyed last season. Villarreal won the Europa League title thanks to the penalty shootout win over Premier League outfit Manchester United in the final. Red Devils goalkeeper David De Gea was the villain after he missed the crucial penalty to hand the Yellow Submarines the Europa League title.

Paris Saint Germain (PSG) attacker KylianMbappe is the priority for Real Madrid in the transfer window, but the Spanish giants are expected to sign more than one attacker and the aforementioned Pino has been under consideration in the past weeks. Real Madrid are keen to sell some of their attackers with the likes of Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale linked with moves away from the club.