Barcelona are continuing with their efforts to get ahead in the transfer market by going after the best rising teenage stars, with their latest pursuit taking place in Argentina.
After signing Germany under-17 captain Noah Darvich this summer and Senegalese talent Mikayil Faye, recent reports have linked Barcelona with Mali under-17 international Ibrahim Diarra.
Now GdS (via Sport) say that Barcelona are in pole position to snap up Velez Sarsfield talent Alvaro Montoro. Just 16 years of age, Montoro has stood out as one of the best products to come out of the Velez academy, playing in midfield with a low centre of gravity, a soft touch and excellent appreciation of space. Diminutive, he fits the archetypal Barcelona midfielder being educated at La Masia.
The Italian outlet claim that Roma had sounded out Montoro for a free transfer (he is yet to pen a senior contract), but that Barcelona are leading the race for his signature. Villarreal and Sevilla have also shown interest, but are now further back in the queue.
It is not yet clear exactly how a deal will be pulled off, given Montoro is still just 16. FIFA regulations mean that he is unlikely to be able to move countries until the age of 18, so any agreement will have to be pre-contract with Velez, or any other club that he joins.