TOKYO (AP) — Japanese club FC Tokyo has signed 13-year-old prospect Takefusa Kubo from Barcelona.

Kubo, who earned the nickname the 'Japanese Messi', signed with Barcelona in 2011 to train at La Masia academy but FIFA ruled that the Spanish club violated international transfer regulations, forcing the teenager to return home.

Kubo, who could rejoin Barcelona when he is 18, had been training with Tokyo's junior youth team since April.

Arsenal and Manchester City were also reported to be among Europe's big clubs interested in Kubo, who was recently selected for Japan's under-15 team.