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Manchester City attempting to hijack Real Madrid’s €45 million move for midfield star



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Manchester City are planning to hijack Real Madrid’s summer move for River Plate teenager Franco Mastanuono.

The 16-year-old could become Manchester City’s third recent addition from South American giants River Plate, following in the footsteps of striker Julian Alvarez and midfielder Claudio Echeverri.

Alvarez has made over 100 appearances since moving to the Etihad Stadium in 2022, meanwhile Echeverri is expected to complete a switch to east Manchester in January, having signed until 2028 earlier this year for an initial £12.5 million.

Etihad bosses are lining up another potential addition from the Argentinian outfit, with teenage midfielder Franco Mastanuono having emerged as a summer transfer target for Manchester City and the City Football Group.

The 16-year-old has made 18 appearances for River Plate in 2024, including three showings and one goal during the club’s Copa Libertadores campaign.

The attacking midfielder, who can also play out wide, signed a new deal with River Plate in March until 2026, but could complete a major transfer to Europe due to a €45 million release clause within the player’s latest contract.

Real Madrid have already taken steps towards signing the teenager this summer, but have reached an impasse in negotiations with River Plate regarding the midfielder’s transfer fee.

Sport Witness relay claims for Spanish outlet Sport that Manchester City are now considering hijacking the deal, with the Premier League champions willing to ‘blow up’ Mastanuono’s agreement and ‘intensify’ the transfer battle.

Manchester City are reportedly planning an ‘express operation’ to complete a shock transfer swoop and bring the teenager to England instead of Spain this summer.

City and Real Madrid have been involved in a series of battles both on and off the pitch in recent years, with the La Liga outfit knocking Manchester City out of the UEFA Champions League on penalties in April.