Arsenal battle Real Madrid for Uruguayan starlet Federico Valverde
Arsenal will go head-to-head with European champions Real Madrid in the race to sign Uruguayan youngster Federico Valverde, according to TMW.
The Gunners were reportedly the front-runners for the 16-year-old Penarol talent, but Real are now also pursuing the central midfielder.
According to the report, Arsenal were ready to make a bid that would have allowed them to beat fellow suitors Barcelona – currently subject to a transfer ban – to Valverde’s signing.
The youngster joined the Gunners for a week-long trial during the January transfer window, according to Uruguayan newspaper El Observador. The same report indicated that a €4m deal looked likely to be finalised.
But Real’s interest could now complicate matters.
Valverde is a Uruguay Under-17 international who reportedly caught the eye of scouts from other top European clubs during his appearances at the South American Under-17 Championship last month. He ended that tournament with seven goals in eight games.