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Real Madrid lead race for 16-year-old Barcelona, PSG target; could make an offer in 2025

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Photo by Rodrigo Valle/Getty Images

While there is much noise and excitement over the arrival of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick at Real Madrid this summer, it appears the club have already started the hunt to find the big star in South America.

Real Madrid, after all, have relied heavily on the successes of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Federico Valverde in recent years. They are keen on unearthing more hidden gems in South American football in the years to come.

Real Madrid leading the race to sign Franco Mastantuono

To that end, Real Madrid are among the clubs keeping close tabs on Franco Mastantuono, a 16-year-old Argentine attacking midfielder.

Mastantuono has been making waves in Argentine football with his performances in youth levels. In fact, he has already become a part of the River Plate senior side, at the age of just 16.

According to TNT Sports, Real Madrid are closely following Mastantuono’s progress. There are multiple clubs interested in the young midfielder, but Los Blancos appear to be leading the race to sign the player.

As has been previously reported, Barcelona and PSG are already following the youngster. More teams like Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, SL Benfica, and Inter Milan are also keen.

Mastantuono’s current contract expires on December 31, 2025 and given his explosive performances at such a young age, a move to Europe could soon be on the horizon.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is river-plate-v-boca-juniors-copa-de-la-liga-profesional-2024-1024x683.jpg
A rising star in Argentine football (Photo by Daniel Jayo/Getty Images)

And Real Madrid will continue to follow him before considering making an offer in 2025, when he is closer to turning 18.

What makes Mastantuono an appealing target?

As mentioned earlier, Mastantuono has impressed onlookers with his performances in his native Argentina. At just 16, the youngster has featured in nine competitive matches for River Plate, even scoring a goal.

An attacking midfielder by trade, Mastantuono is known for his technical ability and versatility in the final third. He can operate on the right flank and is an expert when it comes to taking on opposition defenders.

Mastantuono has shown immense promise during the early stages of his career. He could, therefore, be an interesting bet for Real Madrid, as they look to shore up their ranks in the youth department.

However, it must be noted that Real Madrid are not in a position to sign Mastantuono immediately and would have to wait until he turns 18, before they can make him a part of the youth setup.

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Real Madrid News

France manager talks Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid, Tchouameni injury

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

After unveiling the final squad for France for the upcoming European Championship, coach Didier Deschamps appeared in front of the media to discuss the nation’s preparations for the tournament.

Deschamps was notably asked about Kylian Mbappe and his potential move to Real Madrid in the coming summer.

Deschamps on Mbappe announcement

When asked when Real Madrid may announce the signing of Mbappe, the French coach replied (h/t L’Equipe), “They will decide when it’s time to make it official. As far as possible, I will adapt to the squad.”

This comes on the back of earlier reports which claim that Real Madrid are desperate to announce the signing of Mbappe before the start of Euro 2024.

Mbappe might become a Real Madrid player before the start of Euro 2024 (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

The coveted tournament begins June 14, though France’s opening game is on June 18 as they take on Austria in the city of Dusseldorf.

Deschamps also dismissed concerns over Mbappe’s form, stating, “You don’t find Kylian Mbappé in good shape? He only scored 44 goals in the season. It’s true that he could have done better.”

Deschamps on Tchouameni’s fitness

As things stand, a total of three Real Madrid players are a part of the France squad for the European Championship.

One of them is Aurelien Tchouameni, who picked up a knock earlier this month which could keep him out of the upcoming Champions League final.

Deschamps, though, is not worried about his fitness and is hopeful of having the midfielder back for the Euros.

“Tchouaméni? I’m not worried. The deadline is too short for the UCL final but for the Euro it’s more than doable,” he said.

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