River Plate may not have wanted to lose Marcelo Saracchi ahead of the Copa Libertadores knock-out rounds but the Uruguayan full-back has allowed the Millonarios to make a swift profit after completing a €10 million switch to RB Leipzig on Tuesday.
Negotiations with the Bundesliga club had dragged on but Saracchi’s future clearly lay away from the Monumental and with River paying only $2 million less than a year ago, RB Leipzig’s offer, which could rise to €13.5 million, was one which couldn’t be turned down.
Ten per cent of that figure is owed to Saracchi’s former club Danubio but after his impressive displays for River helped Marcelo Gallardo’s side to the Copa Argentina and the Supercopa, Leipzig tying the 20-year-old down to a five-year deal represents terrific business.
“I like the aggressive and attacking style of play and I’m looking forward to the challenge in Europe.”
RB Leipzig are all too aware of the talent they have on their hands and if Saracchi develops into the player his potential suggests, the German club could have one of the finest attacking full-backs in Europe in a couple of years.
“Marcelo Saracchi is a young, fast left-back, who attracted attention in only his first season in the Argentinian top flight with his impressive performances,” Leipzig Sporting director Ralf Rangnick said.
“He also showed his talent on the international stage with the Uruguay under-20 team and impressed with the way he interprets the role of a left-back. His mindset and potential fit well with our philosophy as a club.”
The Uruguayan began his career at Danubio and after progressing through La Franja’s academy, Saracchi made his first team debut at 17 before making the switch to River only two year later.
Much of this earlier career was as a winger and in Saracchi’s pace, attacking intent and crossing it is clear that none of these attributes have been lost.
In both positions, the youngster has been a regular in Uruguay’s youth sides and after captaining the under-17s at the 2015 Sudamericana, Saracchi was a member of the under-20 Sudamericano winning side in 2017.
River are already lining up Talleres’ Lucas Olaza as a possible replacement and if they conclude such business, it would appear that all parties would be satisfied. Saracchi will be a loss but with Los Millonarios aware that the full-back was leaving, there is time to find another before the Copa Libertadores resumes.