Spain-based Aussie Rafa Jimenez is looking to put his season of injuries behind him by leaving Villarreal with clubs in Spain, England and Australia after the Young Socceroo’s services.
Jimenez’s contract with Yellow Submarine expires on June 30, and the club is not planning to renew his contract.
According to sources, Spanish top flight clubs, an English Premier League club as well as an A-League club are interested in the 19-year-old defender.
Jimenez was born in Madrid to an Australian father and a Spanish mother, and was part of Villarreal’s Under-19s squad that won last month’s Spanish U19´s champions cup when they beat Espanyol in the final.
Unfortunately for Jimenez, he missed out on playing in that game due to injury, as the teenager was still recovering from pubis surgery he had in February.
The teenager started out playing football with European giants Real Madrid at the age of seven, before moving to their rivals Atletico Madrid at 12, and has been at his current club since 2012.
If Jimenez decides to sign for an A-League club it will be the first time he has ever set foot in Australia.
Despite the fact he’s never been down under, Jimenez made his national youth team debut for Australia in L'Alcúdia, Spain, against Mexico in 2013.
“At first I felt a little nervous and a bit out of place, but playing for the Young Socceroos U19 in Valencia where I scored in my debut game against Mexico was a real buzz,” Jimenez told FourFourTwo about his experience last year.
He was also involved in the Socceroos squad that competed in the AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers that were held in Malaysia later that year.
“My experience in Malaysia was great although I believe I still wasn’t at my peak at the time,” Jimenez said at the time.