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Manchester City readying €25 million bid in pursuit of first January signing



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Manchester City are preparing an offer to River Plate for the signing of teenager Claudio Echeverri.

The 17-year-old, who would be eligible for an overseas transfer in January following his 18th birthday, could become Manchester City’s latest signing from South America.

Echeverri could be set to follow in the footsteps of Gabriel Jesus and Julian Alvarez, with the latter having helped Manchester City to five trophies in 2023, including most recently the FIFA Club World Cup.

The attacking midfielder, who has been compared to Argentina and Barcelona legend Lionel Messi, has made six first-team appearances for River Plate and represented Argentina Under-17s.

Manchester City are one of three clubs chasing the signature of the teenager, after Echeverri ruled out signing a new contract with River Plate, amid European interest from the Sky Blues, Chelsea and Barcelona.

Echeverri will potentially be the Blues’ first signing of the January transfer window, with Manchester City readying a €25 million offer for the midfielder, according to César Luis Merlo.

Financial issues at both Barcelona and Chelsea could hugely impact the race to sign the 17-year-old, likewise could Manchester City’s positive relationship with River Plate.

Etihad chiefs are also proposing for the deal to include the option for Echeverri to return to River Plate either on a six-month or 12-month loan, a structure similar to that agreed in 2022 for Alvarez.

Manchester City completed a deal for the striker in January, with the World Cup winner then moving to North West England during the summer transfer window.

The City Football Group are also eying a move for fellow Argentine prodigy Valentin Barco, with the youth international having a €14 million release clause which could be triggered.

Barco, who was named in The Guardian’s “Next Generation” list for 2021, could follow Alvarez and Maximo Perrone, with the pair having both recently swapped Argentina for Pep Guardiola’s side.