Blow for Man United as arch-rivals close to agreeing £21m deal for South American ace | OneFootball

Blow for Man United as arch-rivals close to agreeing £21m deal for South American ace

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Transfer News: Manchester City look set to trump Manchester United to the signing of Julian Alvarez

According to The Athletic (Subscription Required), Manchester City could beat Manchester United to the signing of Julian Alvarez in the ongoing January transfer window.

The River Plate star is one of the best young talents to come out of South America in recent years. The 21-year-old scored 20 goals in 35 appearances to lead River to the title and also earned his first senior call up to the Argentine national side.

His performances have not been lost among Europe’s big boys and several of them have kept tabs on his progress. The player for his part is also open to a move to Europe and his agent previously flew down to London to talk to interested parties. Some of the other sides keen on his services include Bayer Leverkusen, Aston Villa and Real Madrid.

Primarily a centre forward, Alvarez is capable of playing anywhere along the frontline and packs a punch going forward. He has featured 96 times for River’s senior team and has so far managed to score 36 goals and make 25 assists. While he may be young, the consistency he shows in racking up goal contributions is a testament to his quality.

Man United signed Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer amidst much hype. The former has flattered to deceive while the latter, although impressive, is not getting any younger.

With Ralf Rangnick now brought in to help the club rebuild, it is clear that certain changes need to be made. Anthony Martial appears to have fallen out of favour while Marcus Rashford has lost his mojo. With Edinson Cavani’s contract also running out, the frontline is an area that needs immediate focus.

A missed opportunity?

Alvarez certainly has it in him to become a key asset for a new-look Red Devils attack. His pace and directness make him a difficult player to defend against and he has the potential to become a leading player in the years to come.

However, Man City could play spoilsport in Man United’s plans to land the player. Pep Guardiola’s side is close to agreeing on a £21million deal for the youngster before the January transfer window slams shut. River, for their part, are keen to keep the player until the end of the season and could achieve just that. Man City appear to be ready to let the player stay in Argentina for the remainder of the season, joining up with them ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

The youngster’s release clause is a rather modest £20.9m, an amount that Man United should have had no problem playing. Reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano revealed on Twitter that the Red Devils did not open talks with the player or his representatives this month. Whether it is something we will come to rue in the future remains to be seen.

Alvarez is among the next-gen of players who could take the game by storm in the years to come. Man United could have landed themselves a sensational young talent had they been able to bring in the 21-year-old. While the player looks set to arrive at Manchester, it is likely to be for the blue half, further driving a dagger into our plans.

With the Argentine closing in on a move to the Etihad, it remains to be seen how Man United will respond and who else they will go for in the summer.

Maybe, this could be a boost for Anthony Elanga in a way. The Swedish starlet is just coming to the fore and was impressive in the club’s 3-1 win against Brentford. With Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood also in the mix, our future doesn’t look too bad.

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