Manchester City and Real Madrid are two of the best clubs in world football right now. The two met in the semi-finals of the Champions League last season and the one before that, and it would not be a surprise if both are competing for Europe's biggest prize once again this year. Pep Guardiola's side have come out on top in a transfer race in January.
Both clubs are always on the lookout for future superstars of the game and have gotten their recruitment right more often than not. And now, Manchester City have managed to sign a player who has been dubbed the 'Next Lionel Messi'.
Those are big expectations for sure. But Claudio Echeverri has been showing glimpses of real quality already.
As reported by Manchester City's official website, the club have completed the signing of Echeverri from River Plate. He will remain at the Argentine club before moving to the Etihad Stadium in January next year.
Manchester City announce signing of Real Madrid target
Echeverri has been a standout at the youth levels. He found himself in global headlines after scoring a hattrick against Brazil at the recent FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Echeverri does not have a ton of experience at the senior level though. According to stats from Transfermarkt, he has made 6 appearances for River Plate and played 155 minutes in total, managing an assist.
Thus, it is a smart move on the part of Manchester City to let him stay at River Plate for another year. He can develop further in the senior game in Argentina before making the move to Europe. Patience is key with a talent like Echeverri and Guardiola's side seem to recognise that.
On the other hand, Real Madrid have been linked with another South American talent recently, who has been drawing comparisons to Messi. It is Estevao, a teammate of Endrick at Palmeiras, and it might take a similar transfer fee to sign him.