Report - Chelsea, Spurs join Liverpool on trail of "the new Lionel Messi"

Lionel Messi Argentina

Inter Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid and are also thought to be preparing bids for Juan Manuel Iturbe

Argentina starlet Juan Manuel Iturbe has been hailed as “the next Lionel Messi” for most of his short career and has just begun to live up to these lofty expectations whilst on loan at Hellas Verona in Serie A.

The £15million-rated forward scored his first goal for Verona against Livrono from a quite delicious free-kick and has contributed 6 from 30 appearances so far this season as well as a host of assists, which have  helped re-ignite the career of veteran Italian striker Luca Toni.

It’s this kind of form at one of Serie A’s less fashionable clubs that has put the usual giants from across the continent on red alert.

Brendan Rodgers apparently made contact with Porto back in April and will no doubt be planning to squeeze the same kind of performances from Iturbe as he has managed so eloquently this season with Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling.

The diminutive magician is also firmly on the radar of Chelsea and Tottenham, both in need of some final-third spark, who are believed to be sending scouts to Rome when Verona visit Lazio this Sunday.

Iturbe did pick up a knock on his thigh after only half-hour of last weekend’s emphatic 4-0 win over Catania though, so if he doesn’t make the Lazio trip, scouts from all three English clubs will watch him next Saturday at home against Udinese instead.

Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs clubs will be hoping to steal a march on Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid who are also ready to launch a raid.

Juan Manuel Iturbe was born in Buenos Aires but was brought up in Paraguay. After playing for his adopted homeland at U17, U20 and full international level. He recently switched international allegiance back to Argentina but has not played for the full Argentina national team.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch