Real Madrid dealt blow in pursuit of Argentine starlet

Real Madrid have reportedly decided that they will pursue River Plate teenager Franco Mastantuono, but he will not come cheap. After debuting as a 16-year-old at the Monumental, Mastantuono has caught the eye of a number of top European teams.

The likes of Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona have all been credited with interest in the left-footed playmaker, but Los Blancos are set to dedicate their efforts to signing him, something that has usually brought results in the past. On Monday it emerged that Los Blancos has reached a consensus that Mastantuono has the talent to play at the Santiago Bernabeu, and would start moving accordingly.

However Diario AS have carried a report from TyC Sports that there will be little in the way of negotiating with River. Mastantuono’s contract was extended recently until December of 2026, and his release clause was increased to €45m from €30m – River will demand the release clause and no less.

Given his age, Mastantuono will not be able to move to Europe until late-August of 2025, when he turns 18. Thus Real Madrid could try to delay talks and run down his deal into the final year, weakening River’s negotiating position. Equally, their competitors may try to steal in for the teenager at that point, but if there is one thing Los Blancos have done well in recent years, it is convincing their targets that the Bernabeu is the only place for them to be.

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