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Franco Mastantuono – Real Madrid agreement!

Franco Mastantuono - Real Madrid agreement!

Florentino Pérez has decided to step up his pursuit of Franco Mastantuono, the 16-year-old River Plate jewel who is destined for stardom. According to SPORT, Real Madrid have reached a salary agreement with the attacking midfielder and have effectively blocked other clubs from signing him.

The next definitive step is to agree a transfer fee with River Plate, who have so far told Real Madrid and the Premier League clubs that have enquired about the player that they will have to pay the €45 million release clause stipulated in his contract following his renewal in April.

SPORT had already reported in early May that Madrid had taken the lead in the negotiations to sign the young Argentine. First, Juni Calafat, the club’s head of scouting, on a trip to Buenos Aires, and then José Ángel Sánchez, the club’s general director and Florentino Pérez’s right-hand man, held meetings with River Plate officials. These meetings outlined that both parties had reached a certain understanding.

The Champions League final, the announcement of Mbappé’s arrival and the sporting planning for next season, in which Carlo Ancelotti could have another heavyweight addition, had delayed the agreement between the two clubs.

Madrid, however, have taken advantage of this impasse to lock down the player and agree the salary terms. The decision was made in the face of behind-the-scenes moves by several English clubs who had shown strong interest in ‘Mastan’, a left-footed midfielder with the quality to play on the wing, as a creative midfielder or as a second striker.

The next step is to close the transfer between the clubs. Beyond the fixed fee and variables, it will have to be decided when Mastantuono will make the move to Madrid, whether it will be in August 2025, when he turns 18, or whether he will remain at the club now coached by Martín Demichelis for a while longer.

The signing of Mastantuono, which all points to being finalized soon, is another statement of intent from Real Madrid in South America. Florentino Pérez is sticking to his strategy of signing talent in a strategic continent.

It all started in 2017 with Vinicius Jr, who was signed from Flamengo with the idea that he could become ‘the new Neymar Jr’.

Florentino followed up with Rodrygo the following year (he didn’t mind paying another €60 million for a winger who played in the same original position as Vini); then with Reinier, signed from Flamengo in 2020 for €30 million and now an absolute economic and sporting failure.

His latest foray into Brazil is Endrick, who will arrive at the Bernabéu in July after the Copa América when he turns 18 in a deal closed in December 2022 for a total of €72 million.

With Mastantuono, Barça have been sidelined due to their Financial Fair Play restrictions and wage bill. The current situation prevents the Blaugrana from making such large-scale moves for players who will only arrive in 2025 or 2026. The River Plate attacking midfielder is very much liked by the technical staff, as SPORT revealed in February. He is a precocious footballer, with a quality undoubtedly above average and a Barça profile, but they have not been able to enter the bidding for him.

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