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17-year-old Real Madrid, Man City target wants to play for Barcelona: “I’m a big fan of Messi”

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Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

We have entered the final phase of the ongoing FIFA U17 World Cup in Indonesia, with Argentina reaching the semifinal of the competition.

One of the highlights of the tournament for La Albiceleste in this competition has been the performances of their captain, Claudio Echeverri.

Echeverri’s stellar U17 World Cup campaign

An attacking midfielder by trade, Echeverri has racked up five goals in the ongoing U17 World Cup campaign.

The River Plate starlet produced an astonishing display in the quarterfinal against Brazil, securing a hat-trick that helped his team reach the final.

In light of his recent performances, Echeverri has become a top target for several top clubs across Europe, reports SPORT.

Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester City are among the clubs interested in the services of Echeverri.

Next big thing in Argentine football? (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

The young Argentine was valued at a whopping €20 million before the U17 World Cup, but his price is expected to go up further after the tournament.

Barcelona have the upper hand

Notwithstanding Echeverri’s potential high valuation, Barcelona have an advantage in the pursuit of the Argentine starlet.

That is because the River Plate youngster has openly professed his love for FC Barcelona, largely because of his footballing idol, Lionel Messi.

“As well as River, I would like to play for Barça. I’m a big fan of Messi and I used to watch him play for Barcelona, so I’ve had this team inside me since I was very young,” he had said in an interview just before the U17 World Cup started.

Echeverri wants to follow in the footsteps of Messi by joining Barcelona and kickstarting his career in Europe.

As for Barcelona, there have been no explicit links with Echeverri, but with the 17-year-old declaring his love for the club, the Catalans might weigh up a move in the future.

Echeverri, for his part, will not be thinking much about his future right now. He will be keen on leading Argentina to their maiden U17 FIFA World Cup title, as they take on Germany in the semifinals.

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