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Soccer

Real Madrid keeping tabs on River Plate star Enzo Fernández

The midfielder has shone under Marcelo Gallardo and was called up by Argentina last November. Manchester City and Manchester United are also interested.

Update:
Real Madrid, Manchester City and Manchester United interested in Enzo Fernández

River Plate midfielder Enzo Fernández has enjoyed a meteoric rise in Argentinean football. A year ago, the 21-year-old was loaned out to Defensa y Justicia and showed enough promise there to be brought back to the Monumental, where in 2022 he has become one of the mainstays of Marcelo Gallardo’s side and was called up for Argentina’s senior side by Lionel Scaloni last November for World Cup qualifiers. A return of nine goals and five assists in 19 games this year has attracted the attention of clubs in Europe, among them Real Madrid, Manchester City and Manchester United.

A goalscoring midfielder with a deft touch and box-to-box abilities, Fernández can operate in almost any position in the middle of the park and has an eye for a defence splitting pass as well as driving into the opposition box from the second line of attack. Those qualities will be of particular interest to Real Madrid, whose first-choice midfield is ageing and whose chief playmaker, Luka Modric, is 36. Fernández would be largely in line with the club’s recent policy of snapping up young talent from South America but would go straight into the first team squad rather than passing through Castilla, especially if as expected Isco and Dani Ceballos move on this summer.

City keen to repeat Julián Álvarez deal

There is also Premier League interest, chiefly from Manchester, reports Argentinean daily Clarín. Pep Guardiola recently secured a deal for Fernández’s River Plate teammate Julián Álvarez, beating Barcelona to his signature, and City are keen to return for a midfielder who would certainly fit the Guardiola mold, even if he may find playing time hard to come by in a such a well-stocked squad.

Fernández has a release clause of €20 million, which will hardly deter any of Europe’s big spenders, but the Argentinean giants may well seek more than that for a player who they do not want to leave at this stage of his career. Gallardo is a huge admirer and wants Fernández to be one of a new generation of players coming through to lead River to further success before making the jump to Europe.

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