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Manchester City, Real Madrid to battle for Boca Juniors starlet?

Man City, Real Madrid to battle for Boca Juniors starlet?
© Reuters
Manchester City, Real Madrid and AC Milan are reportedly set to battle for the signature of Boca Juniors starlet Exequiel Zeballos.

Manchester City, Real Madrid and AC Milan are reportedly set to battle for the signature of Boca Juniors starlet Exequiel Zeballos.

The attacker became the club's youngest-ever player to sign a professional contract in 2018, aged 16, before making his senior debut in November 2020.

Now 20 years of age, Zeballos has established himself as a first-team regular with the Argentine giants, scoring five goals and providing three assists in 46 appearances across all competitions.

Zeballos got his hands on the Copa de la Liga Profesional with Boca Juniors last year, while he has also featured 12 times at Under-17s level for the Argentina national team.

The youngster is under contract with Boca Juniors until December 2026, but his long-term future at the club has been called into question amid interest from a number of top European clubs.

According to Fichajes, Man City, Real Madrid and Milan are three clubs who are 'closely following the performance and evolution' of Zeballos.

Boca Juniors' Exequiel Zeballos reacts on April 26, 2022© Reuters

The report adds that Zeballos is attracted by the City Football Group, who have a number of clubs around the globe including reigning Premier League champions Man City, with scouts monitoring a plethora of upcoming talents in South America.

Indeed, Pep Guardiola's side recently delved into the Argentine market to recruit Julian Alvarez from River Plate, and the 22-year-old World Cup winner has since made a notable impression with the Citizens.

City have also completed the signing of Velez Sarsfield starlet Maximo Perrone this month, with the 20-year-old set to join up with Guardiola's squad after representing Argentina at the Under-20 South American Championships.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid are another club who have made moves in the South American market over the years, particularly in Brazil with the acquisitions of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Endrick, the latter of whom is set to join from Palmeiras in 2024 when he turns 18.

Los Blancos are now said to have eyes on Argentine market as well and have identified Zeballos as a potential target.

As for Milan, sports director Paolo Maldini is said to be closely following Zeballos who is regarded as an 'interesting option' for the Scudetto holders after they missed out on signing Carlos Alcaraz, who left Racing Club to join Southampton earlier this month.

Zeballos is currently preparing for Boca Juniors' first game of the 2023 campaign against Atletico Tucuman on January 30.

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Velez Sarsfield's Maximo Perrone in action with River Plate's Braian Romero on June 29, 2022
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