Exclusive - A host of Premier League scouts are keeping a close eye on Cruz Azul winger Orbelin Pineda, who has expressed an interest in moving to Europe.
The 24-year-old has long been seen as one of the brightest stars in Mexican football, but rejected the chance to move to Europe when Manchester City came calling in 2016, later electing to swap Guadalajara for Cruz Azul in a deal worth over £10m.
However, a source has now told 90min that Pineda is prepared to consider a move across the Atlantic, while no fewer than seven Premier League sides have sent scouts to keep a close eye on the versatile winger this year.
Arsenal, Tottenham, Wolves, Everton, Southampton, Newcastle and West Ham have all been following the Mexico international, who has managed eight goals and seven assists in his 68 appearances for Cruz Azul.
The English sides have also been joined by a number of teams from mainland Europe, with Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Porto and Monaco four of several sides to have run the rule over Pineda in recent months.
A move to one of those four sides is seen as the most-likely outcome for Pineda, whose contract is set to expire in December 2021, but the Premier League teams will continue to evaluate their options and whether to rival any bids.
A move away from Mexico has long seemed on the cards for Pineda, and with his current deal approaching its end, the winger is now prepared to consider such a move.
While Pineda's statistics may not be the most attractive, his work rate and playmaking skills have helped endear him to Cruz Azul fans, many of whom have called for the 24-year-old to be rewarded with the club's famous no.10 shirt.
Known for his ability to use his short stature to drift past players, Pineda has long been seen as one of the most exciting talents on offer in Liga MX, with many fans and managers expecting to see him end up in Europe at some point down the line.
Former boss Matias Almeyda told ESPN back in 2016: "It's normal that Orbelin is being talked about. He's one of those players that has to end up in a great European club. He has the talent and the attributes."
"It is normal that clubs in Europe look at the best players. More will come in [for Pineda]. I'm totally sure."