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Real Madrid present €20 million formal bid in attempt to fend off Manchester City competition – Etihad club ‘do not give up’



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La Liga giants Real Madrid have reportedly launched a fresh offer for one of the game’s most in-demand starlets, in an attempt to fend off competition from Manchester City.

The latest battle between the two European giants concerns River Plate midfielder Franco Mastantuono, with the 16-year-old having already registered a number of senior appearances with the club despite his age.

Manchester City are not new to the scene at River Plate, holding an excellent relationship with the club stretching back to the agreement reached over Julian Alvarez in the transfer windows of 2022 and the final agreement concluding in the summer market of that year.

That relationship was further extended this calendar year, with Claudio Echeverri agreeing to join Manchester City on a four-and-a-half year contract, remaining on loan at River Plate until January 2025.

But City appear to have a challenging run at the latest emerging talent from the Argentine giants, with UEFA Champions League holders Real Madrid putting up a strong fight for the signature of the player.

That is according to a new report from Spanish newspaper Sport, as translated and relayed by Sport Witness, who claim that Real Madrid director José Ángel Sánchez has now presented a formal bid of €20 million including bonuses to River Plate for Franco Mastantuono.

With the reigning European champions ‘not wanting any surprises’, they are aiming to seal the deal ‘as soon as possible’, and remain the only team to have agreed personal terms with the 16-year-old.

Unfortunately for Los Blancos, the report points out that Manchester City are still in the mix and ‘don’t give up’ in the race to sign the young midfielder, with Etihad Stadium officials said to ‘intend to go all the way’ to agree a deal.

Crucially in Manchester City’s hopes of retaining a chance to recruit the teenager, River Plate have been consistently pointing interested parties in the direction of the player’s €45 million release clause.

At present, it remains to be seen what Manchester City’s immediate and longer-term plans would be for the player, however there is a high chance they would view the talent as a developmental profile to be raised elsewhere in the City Football Group.

City Group now have a wealth of experience in developing some of the game’s finest talents, with arguably the best examples having been seen at Girona last season, with their young stars recording a space in the UEFA Champions League for next season.

Such is the talent at the club that Manchester City themselves opted to invest, securing the signature of Savio from fellow Group club ESTAC Troyes, whilst aiming for the upcoming pre-season tour of the United States as an opportunity to assess his abilities up close.