International Soccer

Real Madrid eye move for another South American starlet

Real Madrid have sent scouts to watch River Plate starlet Franco Mastantuono after his first-team breakthrough at the South American giants.

Having been on the books at River Plate since 2019, Mastantuono recently broke into the senior team and became the third youngster player to ever make a competitive appearance for the club back in January 2024 at just 16 years old.

The attacking midfielder then went on to become the youngest goalscorer in the club’s history soon after, netting in a 3-0 Copa Argentina win over Excursionistas – breaking a record held by ex-Real Madrid star Javier Saviola in the process.

Mastantuono’s form has, expectedly, caught the eye of a number of top European clubs with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain all reportedly holding an interest in the 16-year-old’s services.

Spanish outlet Marca have now reported that Real Madrid have also sent scouts to watch Mastantuono in recent weeks in order to assess the player’s credentials.

Franco Mastantuono

Mastantuono is a regular at first-team level / Rodrigo Valle/GettyImages

Madrid have had notable success in tapping into the South American mark to sign young talent in recent years, with Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes and Endrick all being signed by the club – two of which have already become superstars at the Santiago Bernabeu. Endrick is tipped to develop the same way once he officially joins the team this summer.

In order to protect the value of Mastantuono, River Plate recently agreed a contract renewel with the youngster, extending his current contact until 2026 and increasing his release clause €45m – the largest release clause ever inserted into a River Plate contract.

Having lost Claudio Echeverri to Manchester City for a minimal fee of €15m, River are keen to avoid a similar situation with their latest prodigal talent.

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