Tottenham? ‘The next Messi’ says ‘Here we go!’ to Man City

The Argentine superstar, who has been dubbed the “next Lionel Messi,” will wear the colors of Premier League champions Manchester City.

“Claudio Echeverría (River Plate) is going to Manchester City (Here we go!),” European soccer news expert Fabrizio Romano reported on social media on Jan. 1 (KST).

Confirming the move, Romano used his trademark “Here we go!” to post a composite photo of Echeverría in a City jersey.

Echeverría, a 2006-born attacking midfielder who has been playing for River Plate, Argentina’s most prestigious club, since June, is only 17 years old, but he is considered a highly touted prospect who is considered the next big thing in Argentina after the ‘God of Soccer’ Lionel Messi (Inter Miami).

Most notably, Etcheverry scored five goals and one assist at the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2023 in Indonesia last November, leading his country to the quarterfinals and earning the tournament’s Bronze Boot (third MVP). His lone hat trick in the quarterfinals against rival Brazil drew interest from big European clubs.

With Echeverría showing signs of being the next soccer star, City jumped on the bandwagon. The Citizens have been in talks with River Plate for Echeverría since before the winter transfer window opened, and are close to finally landing the highly-rated prospect.

Romano tweeted, “Claudio Echeverría is going to Man City! Documents are being exchanged between City and River Plate to sign the contract,” explained Romano.

“The contract is for six years, and he will stay at River Plate until December 2024, then leave for Europe,” he said, adding that Echeverría will play one more year in Argentina before joining City.

“City are expecting to sign all the paperwork with River Plate and Echeverria this week,” the statement added, “Verbal agreements between the parties have been completed. The transfer is confirmed.”

With City close to signing the Argentine sensation, Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur were left disappointed. Spurs have been on a scavenger hunt for prospects to help build their future, and Echeverría was one of their targets.

“Tottenham are among the teams chasing River Plate’s youngsters Claudio Echeverría, Agustin Roberto, and Ian Subiabre,” according to British outlet 90min, “and Echeverría is one of the midfielders Spurs are most interested in.”

Like Echeverría, Roberto is an Argentine striker born in 2006. Although he’s only 17 years old, he’s already 6-foot-5, and he showed his worth at the U-17 World Cup by scoring a hat trick in the semifinal against Germany, which they lost on penalties after a 3-3 draw.

Subiabre is a year younger, born in 2007, and was also a winger at the U-17 World Cup alongside Echeverri and Roberto. Despite his diminutive 5-foot-11 frame, he has the pace and technique to become a world-class winger.

Tottenham’s goal is to bring in all three of Argentina’s brightest prospects at once, but fellow Premier League rivals Man City are close to signing Echeverría, the most highly rated of River Plate’s three.

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