Diego Lainez has secured his move to Europe, with the 18-year-old Mexican star transferring from Club America to Real Betis in La Liga.
The reigning Liga MX champion announced the transfer on Thursday, which allows Lainez to join up with Mexican veteran Andres Guardado on the club that currently sits in sixth place in La Liga. Real Betis is also alive in the UEFA Europa League knockout stage and will face French side Rennes in the round of 32 next month.
Real Betis beat out Ajax among the suitors for Lainez, whose attacking qualities have made him one of the top prospects in the region. Along those lines, Lainez follows the transfers of Canada's Alphonso Davies to Bayern Munich and USA's Christian Pulisic to Chelsea as recent marquee moves for Concacaf's top young talents. There was no disclosure of the transfer fee in America's announcement, and according to Real Betis, he's under contract through 2024.
"Diego is an exceptional young player and he demonstrates the potential of young Mexican players in any circumstance," Club America wrote in a statement.
Guardado was quick to welcome Lainez to the Real Betis family, where he'll play for manager Quique Setien.
Lainez scored five goals for America in the most recent Apertura season, including goals in each of the two legs against Pumas UNAM in the semifinals.