Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City target Messi-like attacker with rising release clause, as deal for ‘undroppable’ star paves way

Claudio Echeverri celebrating

Claudio Echeverri celebrating for Argentina at the U17 World Cup

Manchester City are confident the relations they struck with River Plate when signing Julian Alvarez in 2022 could help them win the race for Claudio Echeverri from the same club, according to a report.

Echeverri is only 17 years old but has been catching the attention of several major clubs in Europe. According to the Mirror, Man City are battling the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Inter and AC Milan for his signature.

Compared to Lionel Messi by some observers, Echeverri has earned his first four senior appearances for River Plate this year, playing as an attacking midfielder.

As the Mirror explains, he is available to sign for €25m (£21.4m) thanks to a release clause in his contract. However, if any club approaches him in the final 10 days of a transfer window, the clause will be worth €30m (£25.7m) instead.

The report claims Man City might have the edge in the race to sign Echeverri as a direct consequence of their deal for Alvarez almost two years ago.

Man City completed a deal for the Argentine attacker in January 2022, but allowed him to stay on loan at River Plate for another six months before integrating him into a squad that would go on to win the treble.

Pep Guardiola described Alvarez as ‘almost undroppable’ a couple of months ago, so he would be hoping for similar success with Echeverri further down the line.

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River Plate still have Echeverri under contract until the end of December 2024, which means he might only be there for another 12 months – or less if someone like Man City can snap him up.

Only time will tell how far he can go in the game, but clubs do not want to miss out on players of potential.

Man City clear to sign Echeverri in January

Echeverri will turn 18 on January 2, by which point he would theoretically be eligible for a transfer into the Premier League.

Man City would likely have to develop him in their youth system or out on loan until he is ready to compete for a first-team place, but they have systems in place to allow that kind of nurturing of talent.

Whether or not they intend to meet Echeverri’s release clause or try and negotiate a cheaper fee is something else they will have to consider.

After all, even the €25m valuation would be more expensive than the fee they paid for Alvarez, who was more proven at senior level at the time.

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