Manchester City's search for a striker is hardly new information, with Erling Haaland, Harry Kane and Dusan Vlahovic the usual suspects all reportedly being monitored for a potential summer move.
But a new name was thrown into the mix this afternoon, Argentine starlet Julian Alvarez. The 21-year-old River Plate striker is a hot prospect, with several notable European clubs interested in his signature – most notably among them Manchester United, who were strongly linked to the Argentine a few weeks back.
News started to filter out of Argentina this afternoon, with various publications confident the Premier League champions had made a move for the forward.
Initially, Hernan Castillo got the ball rolling when first he mentioned River Plate were about to sell Alvarez to an unnamed English club, with the agreement set to be completed in the coming hours. Castillo also mentioned that the side from Buenos Aires were trying to hold on to Alvarez until at least June, with River Plate's plan clearly to retain the Argentine for the prestigious Copa Libertadores, as the Argetine league season is already over.
TyC Sports then got involved, with Cesar Luis Merlo reporting that City had made 2 distinct proposals to the Argentine side to sign Alvarez. One was to sign him immediately, and the other was to leave him at River Plate until June, which is the Argentine side's preference. But he stressed that neither of the offers matched the supposed release clause in his contract.
Merlo also reported that if he were to sign for City, it was highly probable that he would be loaned to another European club to gain experience in Europe first before being integrated into the first team squad at City.
This piece of information has since been backed by Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News, who claims that any move for Alvarez will not affect any potential big-money move for a striker like Haaland or Kane – which presumably means that Alvarez is not seen as a player who would slot into the first team as soon as he is signed.
Initially, the English media were late to the party. Jonathan Smith of Goal was the first to report from the English fraternity – corroborating all that was being reported in the Argentine press and adding that a loan for the player once signed was expected.
However, it now appears that Alvarez is set to stay at River Plate following the completion of his move to City until at least the end of the European club season, with the possibility of the 2021 South American Footballer of the Yeat staying a further few months until the end of the South American campaign at the end of 2022 under discussion.
Various Argentine publications are in unison over these facts, with Sam Lee and Ed Maylon of The Athletic reporting similar this evening. The pair report that sources are confident a £21million deal could be confirmed by the end of the January transfer window and that City are expected to agree on letting River hold onto the player until the summer.
All in all, it seems Alvarez to City is edging closer, with the player set to stay at River Plate until at least the summer, at which point the player could join up with Pep Guardiola's first-team squad, go out on loan to further his development in Europe, or continue at River until the end of the South American season - joining up with City in January 2023.
Written by: @adwitya16
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