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Real Madrid’s pursuit of South American talent hinders as Man City make contact with River Plate

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Real Madrid’s pursuit of Franco Mastantuono from River Plate is facing a significant twist as a recent report from SPORT reveals that Manchester City’s manager, Pep Guardiola, has entered the scene, aiming to swiftly secure an agreement for the talented player.

As a result, what was once a straightforward deal for Real Madrid has now become a competitive race between them and Manchester City. 

The intense behind-the-scenes negotiations have made the outcome of Mastantuono’s transfer highly unpredictable.

Just a few hours ago, it seemed Real Madrid had everything under control as it was learned that the club had reached a salary agreement with Mastantuono

This progress was achieved through the efforts of Juni Calafat, Real Madrid’s head scout, and Jose Angel Sanchez, the club’s general director. They had secured a verbal commitment from Mastantuono, who had agreed to the terms.

The next step for Real Madrid was to finalise negotiations with River Plate, which began in early May. However, River Plate’s management has been firm in their stance, refusing to lower the release clause for their prized asset, which is set at €45 million.

Despite these efforts, the situation has taken an unexpected turn as Guardiola has decided to take action, which adds a significant twist to the story.

Manchester City’s sudden entry

Manchester City have suddenly joined the race to sign Franco Mastantuono. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

Manchester City, after weeks of monitoring the situation, have decided to pursue Mastantuono with a different strategy compared to Real Madrid. They aim to reach a direct transfer agreement with River Plate.

The team has a strong relationship with River Plate’s board, largely due to the effective work of their team based in Buenos Aires. This connection has facilitated notable transfers of young talent like Julian Alvarez in the past.

City’s scouts have been closely following Mastantuono, as have scouts from many top European clubs, including Barcelona. 

Guardiola has additional insights into the player thanks to Javier Mascherano, the current coach of the national team and a former River Plate player.

The race to sign Mastantuono has thus become a fierce competition between Real Madrid and Manchester City. Both clubs are determined to secure the young winger’s signature, and the final outcome remains uncertain. 

The coming days will reveal whether Real Madrid can maintain their initial advantage or if Manchester City’s strategic approach will win out.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid still waiting to see the best version of 24-year-old midfielder

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Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni has been at Real Madrid since 2023 but the Frenchman still hasn’t convinced the club’s hierarchy entirely, reports MARCA.

At just 24 years old, Tchouameni was signed for a staggering €80 million, a fee that could rise to €100 million with additional bonuses. This substantial investment reflects the high hopes that Real Madrid had for him, but so far, he has not lived up to those expectations.

Upon his arrival, the young midfielder’s potential sparked a fierce bidding war two seasons ago, with several top clubs vying for his signature. 

Ultimately, Tchouameni chose Real Madrid, but not before the club shelled out a considerable amount of money to secure his services.

A valiant effort to replace Casemiro

Initially, Tchouameni was brought in as a replacement for the legendary Casemiro. However, he has struggled to fill those big shoes and his performances have been inconsistent, with moments of brilliance interspersed with matches where he fails to make a significant impact. 

While he possesses excellent technical skills, his creativity and ability to influence the game are often questioned. As a result, he has yet to win over the Real Madrid fans.

One of Tchouameni’s strengths is his age. At 24, he still has plenty of room to grow and improve. He understands the high standards that Real Madrid demand from the players and is committed to reaching that level. 

Real Madrid still have hope

Aurelien Tchouameni hasn’t convinced the Real Madrid board entirely. (Photo by Rafa Babot/Getty Images)

The club hopes that he will continue to develop and eventually become a leader in the midfield, especially in the absence of veterans like Toni Kroos. 

However, for this to happen, Tchouameni needs to step up and take charge on the field, asserting himself as a player his teammates can rely on.

Tchouameni’s reserved playing style has even caused coach Carlo Ancelotti to doubt whether he is the right fit for the midfield. As a result, the Italian has considered shifting him to a centre-back position due to his aerial ability and strong positioning. 

When called upon to fill in for injured players like David Alaba and Eder Militao, Tchouameni has performed admirably. In fact, Ancelotti once also chose him over Nacho.

Injuries have not helped his case

It must be noted that injuries have plagued Tchouameni’s time at Real Madrid, causing him to miss 20% of the matches since joining the team. 

Additionally, Ancelotti has kept him on the bench for another 20% of the games over the past two seasons. This means that Tchouameni has been a starter in only 55% of the matches under Ancelotti’s management. 

His absences have gone largely unnoticed, as he missed four of the six Champions League group matches and the final, having little impact on the team’s overall performance.

In summary, Tchouameni remains a work in progress at Real Madrid. His potential is undeniable, but he has yet to fully realize it on the field. 

With time on his side and a clear understanding of what is expected of him, the hope is that he will eventually rise to the challenge and become a key player for the team. Until then, Tchouameni’s journey at Real Madrid continues to be one of promise and uncertainty.

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