Man City ‘agree £15.5m deal for Julian Alvarez’ to beat Man United to River Plate starlet

Man City ‘agree £15.5m deal for Julian Alvarez’ to beat Man United to River Plate starlet

Manchester City have beaten heavyweight European competition to the signing of River Plate sensation Julian Alvarez. Manchester United were among clubs interested in Alvarez, but the 21-year-old has chosen a switch to the Etihad Stadium.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Man City have reached a £15.5million (€18m) agreement with River Plate to sign their star man this month.

The Argentine striker will sign a five-year contract in east Manchester but return to River Plate on loan until July.

Alvarez’s reputation has grown thanks to his impressive contributions in the final third throughout the 2021 season in South America.

He scored 24 goals and provided 15 assists in 46 games in all competitions last term and is showing signs of high potential.

Alvarez was also targeted by United, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan in a race between some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

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But even if City may not have the history of those clubs, they do boast almost guaranteed success and the chance to work under Pep Guardiola.

The Citizens’ bid lines up with reports suggesting Alvarez had a release clause worth between £15m and £17m in his contract, which was due to expire in December.

And it could eventually pose as a bargain, or the foundations of significant profit, considering he has already earned five caps for Argentina.

City were desperately pursuing a new striker in the summer after all-time leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero left on a free transfer.

However, their window-long attempt to lure Harry Kane to the Etihad was unsuccessful, and Guardiola was left empty-handed – though a club-record £100m deal for Jack Grealish was still struck.

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The failure to sign a striker hasn’t affected his side, as they currently lead Liverpool at the Premier League summit by nine points.

But Guardiola likely won’t view Alvarez as Aguero’s long-term replacement and may still target a more established name at the end of the season.

Alvarez’s arrival comes with a similar vibe to Gabriel Jesus’ move when he joined City as a teenager from Brazilian outfit Palmeiras five years ago.

Despite acting as Aguero’s back-up for the majority of his stint in England so far, Jesus has settled into life away from South America.

Now 24, he is City’s third-highest all-time goalscorer behind Aguero and Raheem Sterling on 88 goals.

And it will certainly act as inspiration for Alvarez to succeed when he joins ahead of the 2022/23 season.

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Published at Tue, 25 Jan 2022 20:00:00 +0000