Derby County have signed Spanish midfielder Omar Mascarell on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid.
The 21-year-old central midfielder, who has represented Spain at youth international level and was also called up to the full Equatorial Guinea squad last year, will spend the 2014/15 campaign at the iPro Stadium.
He has just returned from Real Madrid’s International Champions Cup exploits in America and was given a guided tour of the Derby County Training Centre this morning before putting pen-to-paper, having flown to the UK on Tuesday afternoon.
Born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Mascarell has progressed through Madrid’s ranks since his arrival in 2010 and had attracted interest from a number of La Liga clubs prior to recently signing a new long-term deal at Madrid.
He has been a regular for Real Madrid Castilla (Madrid’s B side) in recent years, often deployed in the holding midfield role.
His debut for Real Madrid’s first team came on the final day of the 2012/13 season by coming off the bench in a 4-2 home win over Osasuna, replacing Mesut Özil in what was Jose Mourinho’s final game in charge at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
Mascarell is described on Real Madrid’s official website as ‘a thinker, the brain of Castilla. He is a natural organiser and technically gifted’.
He impressed current Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti during their pre-season tour of the USA last month, after coming off the bench in their International Champions Cup games against Inter Milan and Roma.
Head Coach Steve McClaren said: “We’re delighted that we have been able to bring Omar Mascarell to Derby County on a season-long loan deal.
“He is a talented young player and I have monitored his progress for a number of years after first coming to my attention whilst in Holland at Twente.
“Our Head of Football Operations Chris Evans has worked tirelessly to get this deal over the line and spent a few days in Spain thrashing out a deal with Real Madrid.”
He added: “We would like to thank Real Madrid for allowing Omar to spend the season with us and looking forward to working with him.”
Derby County’s President & Chief Executive Sam Rush said: “I am delighted with our relationships with some of the top clubs in World football and we have established a good working relationship with Real Madrid.
“We look forward to that continuing long into the future.”
Mascarell has represented Spain at Under-18 level but is also eligible for Equatorial Guinea through his parents.
He is the second Spanish youth international to join Derby this summer, after former Athletico Madrid B attacking midfielder Ivan Calero signed a two-year deal in July.