Chelsea and Man City ‘make contact’ for River Plate teenager

Chelsea and Manchester City have made contact with River Plate to discuss the conditions of a deal to sign Claudio Echeverri.

Europe’s top clubs are tracking the 17-year-old midfielder, who made his debut for River Plate during the club’s Argentine Primera División title-winning season in 2023.

Echeverri’s performances for Argentina at youth level have impressed scouts, with the midfielder having scored 12 goals in 18 games for the South Americans at u-17 level. That return includes a hat-trick against Brazil in the quarter-final of the u-17 World Cup last month, a tournament which saw the youngster win the Bronze Boot.

Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Echeverri has a release clause of €25m (£21.4m) in his contract at River, though the fee will increase to €30m (£25.7m) in the closing stages of next month’s transfer window.

Chelsea and Manchester City have each made contact regarding a deal, while Barcelona are also keen on a deal. However, the structure of a deal is complicated for the Spanish side due to their Financial Fair Play issues.

Last month, Echeverri said he ‘would like to play for Barca’, having idolised Lionel Messi.

“As well as River, I would like to play for Barca,” he said in November, as per GOAL.

“I am a big [Lionel] Messi fan and I watched him play there, so they are a team I have followed since I was very young.”

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