Claudio Echeverri, River Plate, Argentina
Claudio Echeverri celebrating a goal during the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Indonesia BAGUS INDAHONO/EFE

ALABAMA - Following the success Julián Álvarez brought to Manchester City, the club did not hesitate to keep on looking to the South American markets for more potential signings.

According to reports from specialist Fabrizio Romano, Man City and River Plate reached an agreement that would send young prospect Claudio Echeverri to the city of Manchester for a fee close to €14.5m, with a potential €9m in add-ons depending on player performance.

Echeverri garnered international attention after making his debut at just 17-years-old for River Plate's senior team back in June of 2023. Fast-forward six months, Echeverri clocked just 185 minutes with River Plate, playing in only six games and starting in River's Trofeo de Campeones final against Rosario Central. However, this was enough for him to collect two winners' medals as River Plate won the Apertura 2023 title along with the Trofeo de Campeones.

A dynamic attacking midfielder, Echeverri might not have huge credentials at the club level, but his performances at last year's FIFA U-17 World Cup, as well as the hype that followed him throughout his time at youth academies, were enough to catch Pep Guardiola's eye.

During Argentina's Semifinal run in Indonesia, Echeverri was one of the 'Albiceleste' leaders, finishing the tournament with 5 goals and two assists, with only his teammate Agustín Ruberto (8) scoring more.

Out of his five goals at the U-17 World Cup, three of them during Argentina's Quarterfinal clash against Brazil. By scoring a hat-trick, Echeverri became the first Argentine player in history to score 3+ goals against Brazil in any type of World Cup game, according to Opta.

Claudio Echeverri became the first Argentine player with a hat-trick against Brazil at any level at the World Cup

The €14.5m fee mentioned by Romano would rank as one of the best transfers in the history of River Plate. It is more than what Real Madrid paid when Gonzalo Higuaín joined the Spanish giants at the age of 19 in 2006 (€12m). With no add-ons, Echeverri's transfer to Manchester City would rank among the best 10 sales by River Plate according to Transfermarkt's values. Among teenagers, only Javier Saviola (€35m to Barcelona) and Erik Lamela (€17m to AS Roma) costed more than Echeverri's transfer.

He would join fellow Argentine Julián Álvarez, another River Plate academy player who moved to England less than 12 months ago. In his first season at the English club, Álvarez helped Pep Guardiola's team to win five trophies in 2023, including the Treble (Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League).

Following on Álvarez' footsteps, Echeverri will join a team with deep Argentine roots. City's all-time top scorer, Sergio Agüero, spent 10 seasons at the club scoring 260 goals in all competitions. Carlos Tevez is another renowned former City player, winning three trophies in four seasons at the club, including the 2011-12 Premier League title.

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