Barcelona are reportedly planning to follow the development of Villarreal midfielder Rodrigo Hernandez and winger Alfonso Pedraza after identifying the duo as potential transfer targets for the future.
Rodri and Pedraza came up through the ranks of the Yellow Submarine and made their way into the first team. The former has been with the first team since 2015, while his compatriot has been allowed to go out on loan.
Pedraza joined Spanish second division side CD Lugo on a season-long loan deal in the summer of 2016. He scored six goals and registered eight assists in the first half of the season. The winger's loan spell was cancelled and was allowed to join Leeds United on loan in January, which included an obligation to sign him for £9m ($12m) if the Whites secured promotion to the Premier League.
Leeds failed to make it to the Championship play-offs and the 21-year-old returned to Villarreal. The Spanish side allowed to go out on loan once again as he joined Alaves earlier in the summer. According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are keeping tabs on Pedraza and Rodri.
Rodri committed his future at the Yellow Submarine by signing a new contract, which will keep him at Villarreal until 2022. The Catalan club has identified Rodri as a potential long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets at Camp Nou.
Pedraza's contract at Villarreal runs down a year before that of Rodri. The duo has a release clause of €20m (£17.6m, $23.6m) in their contract and the former Championship winger was tracked by the Premier League clubs in the summer.
IBTimes UK earlier revealed Newcastle United and Southampton were monitoring Pedraza's situation at Villarreal in the summer. The Tyneside club's manager Rafael Benitez is still an admirer of his compatriot and sees the winger as a player for the future.
At Alaves, Pedraza has been deployed mainly as a left-back. He replaced Theo Hernandez, who was on loan from Atletico Madrid during the 2016/17 season. The 21-year-old can be a long-term replacement for Jordi Alba if Barcelona decides to make an approach for his services.
Any move to Barcelona for either Rodri or Pedraza will not take shape in January. The La Liga leaders want to closely follow the duo's progress and should they continue to shine, the Camp Nou outfit will then take a decision on whether or not to make an approach for their services.