Manchester United were unsuccessful in their interest in signing Julian Alvarez from River Plate before he agreed to join rivals Manchester City in January 2022. But the Red Devils are reportedly still scouring the Argentinian market for fresh talent to add to their ever-exciting academy ranks.
Ralf Rangnick aimed a jab at United’s hierarchy during his spell as interim boss when he revealed that he was denied a new forward in the winter.
Alvarez featured among the trio of players he was interested in bringing to Old Trafford, alongside Dusan Vlahovic and Luis Diaz, who joined Juventus and Liverpool, respectively.
United’s loss was City’s gain, with Pep Guardiola recruiting the World Cup winner for an initial £14million, which has proven to be a bargain.
The M16 giants have retained scouts in South America in search of the continent’s next superstars as Alejandro Garnacho continues to shine since his promotion to the first team.
Four starlets have reportedly been identified as targets, with Barcelona, Real Madrid, and City also touted as suitors.
According to Argentine outlet TyC Sports, United are following the progress of the nation’s quartet Franco Mastantuono, Aaron Anselmino, Ian Subiabre and Tomas Parmo.
Mastantuono, 16, made the headlines by becoming the joint-second youngest goalscorer in Argentine football history in River Plate’s 3-0 win over Excursionistas on Thursday.
The attacking midfielder’s feat (aged 16 years and 177 days) matched Sergio Aguero and was only bettered by Diego Maradona (16 years and five days).
Parmo, another midfielder, joins Mastantuono on United’s watchlist after catching the eye at age 16 at Independiente.
As has Subiabre, a 17-year-old winger, who made his senior debut for River Plate last week after scoring three goals in 20 appearances for Argentina’s U17s.
United are also said to be keeping tabs on the defensive market, with Anselmino on the club’s radar.
The 18-year-old has made five appearances for Boca Juniors, playing 296 minutes of football in his short senior career so far.
That hasn’t stopped some of the world’s biggest clubs circling, though, and United are reportedly one of them.
Erik ten Hag has showcased the importance of United’s academy set-up in his long-term project at Old Trafford since becoming manager in 2022.
Upon his arrival, the Dutchman claimed he wanted to promote one academy graduate as a regular fixture in his first-team squads every season.
Last term, it was Alejandro Garnacho, who broke through during the campaign before Ten Hag landed in M16. This season, Kobbie Mainoo has established himself as an important player.