Manchester City are now the clear front-runners to secure the signing of Uruguayan teenage forward Facundo Pellistri, according to reports.
The 18-year-old has also taken the eye of Newcastle but City are in pole position given that the Magpies are still unsure of their financial position as they wait to see if a takeover of the club is finalised.
Spanish outlet AS describe the teenager as the future of Uruguayan football and the ‘jewel of Penarol’ even though he’s made just 17 appearances for the club now managed by former Manchester United forward Diego Forlan.
It’s believed that the powerful City Football Group which aims to identify future talent has been working on a five-year deal for Pellistri.
The talented No.10 has a termination clause of around $12million but City aren’t keen to pay the full amount due to the economic crisis in football caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, say AS, they’re looking for an original down payment of 50% and the other half will depend on variables such as Pellistri reaching the first team.
In addition, a percentage of a future sale would be included.
With his pathway to the starting XI likely to be blocked at this stage, there are plans to increase Pellistri’s football education by sending him out on a loan deal to Spain to begin with.
AS report that a number of La Liga clubs have shown an interest and Spain would seem an obvious destination as it would allow him to speak his mother tongue.
Real Madrid have been mentioned although city rivals Atletico are also believed to be in the picture given their past connection with Uruguayan players such as Forlan, Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez and Cristian Rodriguez.