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Manchester City 'face competition from Chelsea for River Plate trio'

Man City 'face competition from Chelsea for River Plate trio'
© Reuters
Manchester City are reportedly set to battle with Chelsea for the signatures of River Plate trio Claudio Echeverri, Agustin Ruberto and Ian Subiabre.

Manchester City are reportedly set to battle with Chelsea for the signatures of River Plate trio Claudio Echeverri, Agustin Ruberto and Ian Subiabre.

All three teenagers were part of the Argentina squad that reached the semi-finals of the Under-17s World Cup in Indonesia last month, before losing the third-place playoff to Mali.

Ruberto was a standout performer for Argentina and scored eight goals in just seven games to claim the Golden Boot, while Echeverri contributed with five goals and one assist as Subiabre chipped in with one goal and one assist.

Echeverri, who has been compared to Argentine icon Lionel Messi, has only recently broken into the River Plate first team, with the 17-year-old making four substitute appearances in the Primera Division since and including his senior debut in June.

Ruberto, 17, and Subiabre, 16, meanwhile, are yet to make their first-team debuts for River Plate, but that has not stopped the rumour mill linking the highly-rated duo, along with Echeverri, with a possible move to Europe.

Echeverri and Ruberto, who are both under contract until December 2024, turn 18 in January and can then be free to negotiate transfers overseas.

As for Subiabre, he does not celebrate his 18th birthday until January 2025 and can only secure a transfer abroad at that point, with his current contract at River Plate due to expire a month earlier.

A recent report claims that Man City and Real Madrid are keeping tabs on attacking midfielder Echeverri, but both Ruberto and Subiabre have since attracted interest from a host of top European clubs.

According to 90min, Man City are confident of securing the services of all three River Plate teenagers due to their strong relationship with the Argentine club, following their purchase of Julian Alvarez in 2022.

The Citizens are said to be open to negotiating a deal with River Plate which would allow Echeverri, Ruberto and Subiabre to remain in South American before moving to the Etihad Stadium at a later date, a similar deal to that of Alvarez who remained at River Plate on loan between January and July 2022 before linking up with Pep Guardiola's side.

Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino during Burnley game on October 7, 2023.© Reuters

However, the report adds that Chelsea are prepared to battle hard with Man City for the signatures of Echeverri, Ruberto and Subiabre and are willing to match any offers made for all three players.

Chelsea have been heavily invested in luring a plethora of the world's most promising youngsters to Stamford Bridge since the arrival of co-owner Todd Boehly, and they have shown their willingness to spend big to beat their rivals to a number of targets.

Indeed, the Blues recruited Brazilian duo Deivid Washington and Angelo Gabriel from Santos for a combined fee in the region of £30m in the summer, while they have also agreed to sign Ecuadorian prodigy Kendry Paez for around £16m, with the 16-year-old set to join the club when he turns 18 in 2025.

Chelsea and Man City are not the only clubs interested in Echeverri, Ruberto and Subiabre as Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Brighton & Hove Albion, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan have also been credited with an interest in the River Plate trio.

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General view of Real Madrid's Bernabeu taken August 2018
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