Chelsea threaten to match Man City offers for attacking trio despite Begiristain repeating transfer tactic

Agustin Ruberto and Ian Subiabre

Agustin Ruberto and Ian Subiabre celebrating for Argentina U17

Chelsea and Manchester City are now going head to head for three attacking players from River Plate, including Claudio Echeverri, according to a report.

Echeverri has recently been linked with Man City after earning comparisons to Lionel Messi. He could be available for either €25m or €30m, it has been suggested.

But now, 90min has revealed that Man City will face competition from Chelsea for Echeverri and two of his fellow River Plate products.

The website claims Chelsea want to match any offer Man City make for Echeverri, Agustin Ruberto and Ian Subiabre.

That is despite Man City being confident that they can use their positive relationship with River Plate – from whom they signed Julian Alvarez in 2022 – to win the race for the trio.

Man City sporting director Txiki Begiristain could also allow River Plate to keep some of the talents on loan, like what happened with Alvarez, after any deal.

But Chelsea have been aggressively investing in young talent under the Todd Boehly regime, even for players they cannot use immediately, and do not want to miss out on the players in question.

While Echeverri plays in behind the striker, Ruberto is a centre-forward and Subiabre is more of a winger.

None of them would be allowed to join Chelsea or Man City until they turn 18 – which is conveniently in January for Echeverri and Ruberto, whereas Subiabre would have to wait for January 2025.

All three players represented Argentina at the under-17 World Cup recently, but only Echeverri has made his senior debut at club level.

Clubs queue up for Argentine trio

River Plate have Echeverri and Ruberto under contract until the end of 2024 and Subiabre until the end of 2025.

However, interest in them all is stacking up from across Europe and elsewhere in the Premier League.

According to the report, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton have all looked at one or more of the three players, as have Barcelona and Real Madrid.

For example, there have previously been reports of Brighton targeting Ruberto in particular. The Seagulls have a good track record in the South American markets.

But Man City and Chelsea both have their own reasons to be confident and at this stage seem to be at the front of the queue.

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