Real Madrid are reportedly ready to challenge Chelsea and Manchester City in the race to sign highly-rated Argentine prospect Valentin Barco from Boca Juniors.

According to Fichajes, Real Madrid have entered the chase to sign Chelsea and Manchester City target Valentin Barco from Boca Juniors. The 19-year-old is considered to be one of the best young players in South America and has caught the attention of a host of clubs across Europe.

Rising through the youth ranks of Boca, Barco only broke into the first-team picture earlier this year but has already become an important player for Boca Juniors this season. He has made 24 first-team appearances for the Argentine giants in all competitions, including 11 league starts and seven outings in the Copa Libertadores this year, scoring one goal and making two assists in the process.

Barco mainly plays as a full-back. But he has shown the versatility to play across the pitch, finding himself in more attacking positions as well. Boca boss Jorge Almiron has even deployed the talented youngster as a forward, attacking midfielder, and out on the wing to see which position he would excel in most.

And his impressive performances have spurred many top European clubs to send scouts to watch the player live. It is worth noting that the highly-rated young player has just one year remaining on his current contract and is said to have a release clause valued at £8 million, which has made him an attractive player for any European suitor.

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Manchester City were thought to be leading the race for his signature, with Pep Guardiola reportedly very keen to sign Barco when the transfer window reopens. The Spanish manager is not convinced by Sergio Gomez, who is City’s only natural left-back at the moment.

However, the Citizens could see their plans to sign Barco scuppered. Todd Boehly’s free-spending Chelsea are providing stiff competition as they continue in their bid to assemble the world’s most-coveted left-back at Stamford Bridge, while Real Madrid have now decided to enter the race for an in-demand left-back.

The lack of a recognised alternative to injury-prone left-back Ferland Mendy has been an issue for Los Blancos. They re-signed Fran Garcia in the summer, but the young left-back has so far blown hot and cold, and questions about his capacity to be a regular starter have already been raised.

Considering the conservative nature of Real Madrid’s current full-backs, Barco could be a breath of fresh air in that department while providing much-needed depth on the defensive end of things for the club.

Boca Juniors are actively working on a new five-year contract for the left-back, which will see a significant increase in his termination clause. With all that in mind, we could potentially see a bidding war take place for Barco in January.

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