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Barcelona agree deal for ‘New Messi’ ahead of Chelsea & other European giants

Barcelona have reportedly agreed a pre-contract deal with Independiente wonderkid Lucas Patanelli, who is described by Spanish publication Marca as the ‘New Messi’.

The 16-year-old forward has caught the eye of several of Europe’s top clubs with a series of impressive performances for Independiente’s youth teams, according to Marca.

Marca credits Barca’s arch-rivals Real Madrid, Porto and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as Premier League duo Chelsea and Manchester City with an interest in the teenager.

But Marca understands that the Catalan outfit have put themselves at the front of the queue by coughing up €4m for 50% of Patanelli’s rights and first refusal on his signature.

Marca adds that Patanelli will remain in Buenos Aires until Barcelona feel that the time is right to bring him over to Spain to start working at their famous La Masia academy.

Barca have had great success plucking talent from South America, most notably Lionel Messi, who joined from Newell’s Old Boys as a 14-year-old in 2001. The rest is history.

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