Chelsea and Manchester City are both showing strong interest in young River Plate trio Claudio Echeverri, Agustin Ruberto and Ian Subiabre, 90min understands.
The three youngsters were all part of the Argentina squad that reached the semi-final of the recent U-17 World Cup, with Ruberto winning the tournament’s Golden Boot and Echeverri taking home the Bronze Boot.
17-year-old Echeverri, an attacking midfielder whose nationality has helped bring comparisons to Lionel Messi, already has four senior appearances for River Plate, while striker Ruberto, 17, and winger Subiabre, 16, are both yet to make their first-team debuts.
Echeverri and Ruberto both turn 18 in January and will therefore be able to move overseas, and 90min understands both Chelsea and City are working hard to win the battle for their signatures. The duo are both under contract until the end of 2024.
City are believed to be confident of landing the three youngsters thanks to their excellent relationship with River Plate stemming from their signing of Julian Alvarez in 2022, and they are open to deals which would see both Echeverri and Ruberto remain in Argentina until a later date.
Subiabre, who has left scouts equally as excited, does not turn 18 until January 2025 and can only move overseas at that point, with his current contract set to expire at the end of that year.
Chelsea are understood to be prepared to match any deals on offer for the trio, having already flashed their willingness to spend big on young prospects with the £17m signing of 16-year-old Ecuadorian Kendry Paez.
However, there is significant competition for all three of Echeverri, Ruberto and Subiabre, with most of Europe’s elite holding talks about at least one of the trio in recent weeks.
90min understands Premier League rivals Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have all engaged in talks, as have Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Elsewhere in Europe, the trio are attracting interest from Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter.