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Real Madrid, Manchester City 'keeping tabs on River Plate teen'

Real Madrid, Man City 'keeping tabs on River Plate teen'
© Reuters
Real Madrid, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly keeping tabs on 17-year-old River Plate starlet Claudio Echeverri.

Real Madrid and Manchester City are reportedly among a number of clubs keeping tabs on 17-year-old River Plate starlet Claudio Echeverri.

The attacking midfielder is widely regarded as one of Argentina's brightest prospects and has been one of the standout performers for his country at the Under-17s World Cup in Indonesia this month.

Echeverri scored five goals and registered one assist in six appearances at the World Cup, with Argentina suffering a heartbreaking penalty-shootout defeat to Germany in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

The River Plate teenager scored once in three group-stage games, before netting four times in three knockout matches, including an impressive hat-trick in a 3-0 quarter-final victory over South American rivals Brazil.

Echeverri, who in October was named by The Guardian as one of the best players in the world born in 2006, has scored a total of eight goals in 17 international games for Argentina Under-17s since his debut in March last year, while he has only recently broken into the River Plate first team.

Indeed, Echeverri has made four substitute outings for the Primera Division outfit, including his senior debut in June when he registered his first and only assist to date.

General view of Manchester City's Etihad Stadium taken September 2018© Reuters

Echeverri's recent performances at the Under-17s World Cup are understood to have caught the eye of several top European clubs, with Sport claiming that both Real Madrid and Man City are two teams closely monitoring the midfielder's progress.

Paris Saint-Germain have also been credited with an interest in the youngster, who will see his current contract at River Plate expire in December 2024.

The same report adds that Barcelona would hold an advantage if they entered the race for Echeverri, as he recently admitted that he would like to follow in the footsteps on Lionel Messi by swapping the Argentine league for the Catalan giants.

"In addition to River, I would like to play for Barca," Echeverri said as quoted by Sport. "I am a big fan of Messi and I saw him play in Barcelona, so I have had this team inside me since I was very young."

It is understood that River Plate initially valued Echeverri at around €20m (£17.4m), but the Argentine club are now said to value the youngster at €30m (£26m) following his latest performances at the Under-17s World Cup.

Spanish news outlet Defensa Central claims that Man City would be prepared to meet River Plate's new asking price, but Real Madrid are unlikely to stump up such a figure, seemingly handing the Citizens an advantage at present.

Echeverri could potentially become the second River Plate player to join Man City after Julian Alvarez, who has become a first-team regular under Pep Guardiola since moving to the Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2022.

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