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 By Tom Marshall

Pachuca's Hirving Lozano: I'm ready for European challenge

Herculez Gomez breaks down the match-ups in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals ahead of first-leg action.

Mexico winger Hirving Lozano is ready to move to Europe, with Pachuca suggesting La Liga outfit Celta Vigo would be the perfect location.

The 21-year-old has just returned from an ankle injury and his second child is due to be born in a few weeks, but he is hoping he'll be playing somewhere in Europe in the near future.

"I feel good, ready and prepared to get better and to play in a more competitive [league]," said Lozano in an interview with Nacion ESPN on Tuesday. "People have told me that I have the possibility of going to play in a better, stronger league and hopefully I can improve my football."

Lozano has long been on the radar of European clubs, with reports linking him to Ajax, PSV, Manchester United and Benfica, although Pachuca believes that Spanish outfit Celta Vigo is the right fit for the forward.

"They are one of the teams that most attracts us," said Pachuca president Jesus Martinez in the same show. "There are a lot of other teams, he has a lot of offers and I believe that [Celta] are a team who suit us as much as the player... It would be an ideal club for him."

Celta currently sit in 10th position in La Liga under attack-minded Argentine coach Eduardo Berizzo. The Galician club already have an agreement in place with Pachuca to support each other and even exchange players.

Martinez said that there have already been a number of enticing offers for Lozano from Europe, but that Pachuca didn't want him to leave this past January because of his wife's pregnancy and the fact he wouldn't complete a full preseason with his new club.

"We thought that it wasn't the time," Martinez said. "We didn't think, with full respect and without undervaluing, that the Netherlands or Portugal were where we believe he can reach his potential."

Lozano has already played over 100 games in Mexico's top division and is set to feature for the Tuzos against FC Dallas in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal second leg Tuesday night.

Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.


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