Real Madrid move to win race for River Plate sensation scouted by Man Utd

Real Madrid move to win race for River Plate sensation scouted by Man Utd

Teenage River Plate star Franco Mastantuono is the latest wonderkid on the radar of Real Madrid, with the Spaniards looking to steal a march on clubs from England, Spain and France.

Mastantuono, 16, scored his first senior goal in February in a 3-0 Copa Argentina win against Excursionistas. The playmaker has also featured nine times in the league this season, with River sitting three points off top spot after 12 rounds of fixtures.

Manchester United are said to be among the clubs to have scouted the teenager, with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain also linked. United already have one talented Argentinean youngster in their ranks, with Alejandro Garnacho joining from Atletico Madrid’s academy at 16.

Real Madrid have an impressive recent track record of their own when it comes to young talents. Palmeiras forward Endrick is due to sign from Palmeiras when he turns 18 in July, and Mastantuono could follow.

According to Marca (via Football Espana), Madrid look set to step up their efforts to beat those three other clubs to the wonderkid. Los Blancos have recruited from River Plate in the past, most notably with the signing of Gonzalo Higuain, while former Real Madrid manager Santi Solari began his playing career with the Buenos Aires club.

Back in February, TyC Sports (via The Star) named Mastantuono as one of four players United were eyeing after missing out on Julian Alvarez. World Cup winner Alvarez, another River Plate academy graduate, joined Manchester City in the summer of 2022 and won the Treble in his first season.

The other three names mentioned at the time are Aaron Anselmino, Ian Subiabre and Tomas Parmo. Central defender Anselmino plays for River’s fierce rivals Boca Juniors, while winger Subiabre is a team-mate of Mastantuono at El Monumental and attacking midfielder Parmo is at Independiente.

Is Franco Mastantuono ready for European football? Have your say in the comments section

Franco Mastantuono in action for River Plate

Franco Mastantuono in action for River Plate
Getty Images)

Mastantuono signed a new deal with River Plate in March, with a release clause reported at around £38.5m. The new deal could allow River to recoup a significant fee for another young talent after selling Claudio Echeverri to Manchester City for a little under £22m earlier this season.

The playmaker might not be the only Manchester United target to move to Real Madrid. Marca also reports the Spanish side have an eye on Leny Yoro, the Lille centre-back who has been linked with an Old Trafford switch.

Yoro, 18, has been a regular in Ligue 1 for Lille this season. The teenager, who is represented by Jorge Mendes’ Gestifute agency, is out of contract in the summer of 2025 and Les Dogues are expected to brace themselves for summer bids.

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