Highly-Rated Colombian Starlet Flattered By Barcelona Interest

River Plate youngster admits Barca move would be ‘big privilege’.

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Young River Plate defender Eder Alvarez Balanta admits he is flattered to be linked with a move to La Liga giants Barcelona, according to Forza Italian Football.

The 20-year-old, who is also being monitored by Serie A duo Juventus and Napoli, is a highly rated prospect at the moment after his superb displays in Argentina, and has been talked up by current Barca star Javier Mascherano.

It is thought that Balanta could be seen as an immediate solution to Barcelona’s current problems in defence, with manager Gerardo Martino keen to bring in a youngster to be the long-term replacement for veteran centre half Carles Puyol.

Some big-name targets have been linked with moves to the Nou Camp in recent times, such as David Luiz and Daniel Agger, though Martino may look to youth as the Catalan giants are so well known for doing.

If Barcelona do sign the Colombian youngster, Mascherano believes they would be landing themselves a top prospect, saying: “He looks very good. He is very young but from what I have seen he has a lot of quality, He is is good at bringing the ball out from the back.”

Meanwhile, Balanta himself admits he is unsure if the rumours are true, but would be honoured to become the first player from his country to play for Barcelona.

“If this turns out to be true, it would be a big privilege for me, and I would give thanks to God,” he said. “As far as I know no Colombian has ever played for Barcelona, so I would be the first in history.”

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