On the day that the South American under-20 championship begins, Real Madrid have reportedly firmed up their interest in Argentina and River Plate goalkeeper with a €10 million offer. 18-year-old Augusto Batalla is set to start for Humberto Grondona side against Ecuador tonight but that has not prevented Los Merengues registering their interest.
Batalla is yet to represent the River first team but has impressed scouts whilst playing for River Plate’s youth sides and the Argentina under 17 side who won the South American championship in 2013 and were semi finalists in the World Cup.
Batalla was also named the goalkeeper of the tournament when River were crowned World under-17 club champions in 2013. En route to victory, River actually lost to Real Madrid in the group stages but qualified for the next round, before defeating Barcelona and Atlético Madrid in the Semi Final and Final respectively. Batalla kept clean sheets in both matches and was the penalty hero against Barcelona.
The 18-year-old currently stands 6 foot 2 inches and is not only one of the jewels in River’s enviable reserve squad but also the latest in the recent influx of promising, young Argentine keepers. Estudiantes were the most recent to benefit from this when Gerónimo Rulli burst onto the scene at just 21 and was quickly snapped up by Real Sociedad after a season and a half of eye-catching performances. Real Madrid appear to be keen to beat any other potential suitors by getting in early.
If Batalla impresses in a successful under-20 campaign for Argentina, Real Madrid may find they have much greater competition for the youngsters signature.