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Manchester City close in on signing 'next Lionel Messi' Claudio Echeverri

Published: Updated: 11:42, 28 Dec 2023
The Argentine youngster was the star of the recently concluded under-17 World Cup and clubs like FC Barcelona, Chelsea, PSG and Manchester City are after his signature

In recent weeks, the football world has been abuzz with speculation surrounding 17-year-old sensation Claudio Echeverri. Touted as one of the most promising young talents in global football, Echeverri has attracted attention from several top-tier European clubs.

Barcelona was among the first to express interest in signing this prodigious talent, who recently impressed at the U17 World Cup with Argentina. Despite Echeverri's keenness to move to Catalonia, River Plate rejected an offer estimated around €25m from Barcelona.

However, due to financial constraints, Barcelona had to cool their pursuit of this young starlet. This opened up an opportunity for another European giant - Manchester City - who have now seemingly taken pole position in securing his signature.

Manchester City is to follow Julian Alvarez's deal structure and is expected to close the deal by the end of next week

Manchester City has been linked with Echeverri over recent months following his breakthrough into River Plate's first team this year. Known as the 'next Lionel Messi' back home in Argentina, he is seen as a valuable addition to Man City squad.

The Premier League champions are no strangers to acquiring talent from River Plate; they made a similar move earlier by signing Julian Alvarez in January 2022 and allowing him to stay at his Argentine side until the summer.

Renowned sports journalist Romano recently revealed that a deal for Echeverri is 'almost done', with Man City 'advancing to final stages'. Meanwhile, Barcelona finds it "impossible" due to financial reasons and other factors involved.

As per reports, Man City will pay €25m for securing services of Claudio Echeverri. However, he will continue playing at River Plate on loan for another 6-12 months before moving permanently. This arrangement mirrors their previous acquisition of Julian Alvarez.

Echeverri's move to Manchester City marks another instance where Barcelona has missed out on a highly-rated youngster, the previous one being Gabriel Moscardo.

Echeverri has already made his mark in international football by scoring 12 goals in 20 appearances for the Argentina Under-17 team. His impressive performances have not only earned him recognition but also comparisons with Argentine legend Lionel Messi.

Claudio Echeverri's imminent move to Manchester City is a testament to his talent and potential. As he continues his development at River Plate before making the big leap to European football, fans and pundits alike will be eagerly watching this young prodigy's progress.

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