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Manchester City set to hijack Real Madrid for teenage star


Manchester City are reportedly set to hijack Real Madrid in the pursuit of teenage sensation Franco Mastantuono. The 16-year-old plays for River Plate in Argentina. Despite being relatively inexperienced in senior football, the youngster has attracted the interest of some of Europe’s biggest clubs. City, Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain, Barcelona, and Chelsea are all keen on bringing the Argentine to Europe.

Mastantuono is a versatile player, capable of playing upfront or as an attacking midfielder. He possesses good passing abilities and is a skillful dribbler. The River Plate reserve team assistant manager, Pablo Fernández, has also complimented his ball-striking and free kicks.

With the Argentine Primera Division kicking off in May every year, the 2024 season has seen River Plate play five games in the league so far. While Mastantuono has not managed a senior start for the Buenos Aires-based club, he has come off the bench in each of the five games so far.

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The forward has been called up for the Argentina under-17 team so far. Javier Mascherano, the under-20 manager, has been impressed with Mastantuono and invited him to train with the U-20 squad back in 2022. A call-up to Mascherano’s squad looks likely in the near future.

The 16-year-old will command a significant fee for any club interested in his services. Mastantuono has a £45 million release clause in his contract, and River Plate will likely not accept any bids lower than that figure. While that is an enormous fee to pay for a youngster, scouts from Real Madrid and Man City have decided that his talents merit the price.

With City having signed Julián Álvarez and Claudio Echeverri from River Plate in the past, Pep Guardiola will be hoping that the two can convince Mastantuono to come to Manchester instead of donning the Madrid whites.

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