Intense Battle: Chelsea Challenges Manchester City for River Plate Trio

According to reports, Manchester City and Chelsea will compete to recruit River Plate players Ian Subiabre, Agustin Ruberto, and Claudio Echeverri.

The three adolescents competed for Argentina at the Under-17 World Cup, which took place in Indonesia last month, and advanced to the semifinals before falling to Mali in the third-place playoff.

For Argentina, Ruberto was a spectacular player who won the Golden Boot with eight goals in just seven games. Echeverri and Subiabre also contributed with five goals and one assist each.

Echeverri, 17, has just recently established himself in the River Plate first squad. Since then, he has made four substitute appearances in the Primera Division, including his professional debut in June. Echeverri has been likened to Argentine legend Lionel Messi.

Although Ruberto, 17, and Subiabre, 16, have not yet made their River Plate first-team debuts, the rumours about the highly-regarded pair and Echeverri moving to Europe have not stopped.

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Both Echeverri and Ruberto, who have contracts that expire in December 2024, will turn 18 in January, at which point they will be able to discuss international transfers.

Subiabre’s contract at River Plate is set to expire one month early, so he won’t celebrate turning eighteen until January 2025, at which point he can only negotiate a transfer overseas.

Attacking midfielder Echeverri is reportedly being watched by Man City and Real Madrid, according to a recent report. However, both Ruberto and Subiabre have since drawn interest from other elite European teams.

Because of their close ties to the Argentine team—having acquired Julian Alvarez in 2022—Man City is reportedly confident in their ability to sign all three of the River Plate teenagers.

A similar arrangement to that of Alvarez, who stayed at River Plate on loan between January and July 2022 before joining Pep Guardiola’s team, is reportedly something the Citizens are open to discussing with River Plate.

This arrangement would permit Echeverri, Ruberto, and Subiabre to stay in South America before eventually moving to the Etihad Stadium.

The report does, however, also state that Chelsea is willing to match any offer made for all three players and is ready to engage in a fierce struggle with Man City for the signings of Echeverri, Ruberto, and Subiabre.

Since co-owner Todd Boehly arrived, Chelsea has made significant investments to entice many of the most talented young players in the world to Stamford Bridge, and they have demonstrated their willingness to spend large sums of money to outbid their rivals on a number of targets.

In fact, the Brazilian combination Deivid Washington and Angelo Gabriel from Santos were signed by the Blues for a reported total of roughly £30 million in the summer.

In addition, they have reached an agreement to sign Ecuadorian sensation Kendry Paez for a reported £16 million; the 16-year-old will join the team when he turns 18 in 2025.

Echeverri, Ruberto, and Subiabre are not only of interest to Chelsea and Man City; other clubs linked to the River Plate trio include Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Brighton & Hove Albion, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, AC Milan, and Inter Milan.

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