Man City ‘closing in’ on Man Utd striker target with replacement already lined up

Julian Alvarez of Argentina takes a free kick during the FIFA U-20 World Cup against Portugal

Manchester City are ‘about to close’ a deal to sign Manchester United striker target Julian Alvarez, according to one journalist.

Alvarez, 21, has been making headlines in his native Argentina thanks to his promising form at River Plate. He hit 18 goals in 21 games during the most recent Liga Profesional season as River Plate won the domestic crown.

Alvarez is clearly good enough to make it at a top club in Europe and transfer rumours surrounding his future are rife.

Aston Villa and Tottenham were the original clubs eyeing his signature, before Man Utd came in.

Reports claim Ralf Rangnick is eager to sign Alvarez, as soon as Anthony Martial’s future is sorted.

However, the Red Devils boss could be left disappointed as rivals City are marching ahead in the pursuit.

According to Sport Illustrated, who cite journalist Hernan Castillo, Pep Guardiola’s side will soon finalise an agreement for Alvarez.

Two Julian Alvarez proposals made

Castillo is not the only person to provide a transfer update. According to Cesar Luis Merlo, City have made two proposals for a deal.

They are willing to sign him this month or in the summer, depending on River Plate’s preference.

There are also rumours of an initial loan move which will become permanent after a six-month spell at the Etihad.

Whatever form it may take, Alvarez’s transfer may be imminent as River Plate already have his replacement in mind. They are attempting to sign Atlanta United’s Ezequiel Barco.

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City were not expecting to bring in a new centre-forward this month, although Ferran Torres’ exit seems to have changed their stance.

The player left for Barcelona after informing City officials of his desire to make it at the five-time Champions League winners.

With Gabriel Jesus now wanting to play out wide, a successor to Sergio Aguero needs to be found. Alvarez seems to have the capability to fill his boots, although it will not be an easy task.

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Spanish club plan Man City raid

Meanwhile, Spanish club Real Betis are reportedly ready to test the waters by making an approach for Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Zinchenko’s reputation as a utility man means he does not start in the Premier League as much as some of his team-mates. Indeed, he has only made seven appearances in the competition this season, registering one assist in that time.

The player’s contract runs until June 2024, putting City in a strong position in terms of a transfer.

Nevertheless, The Sun report Real Betis are aiming to test their resolve by preparing to move in. They have already made an ‘enquiry’ about Zinchenko’s availability, too.

However, it looks set to be good news for Guardiola and City as the player has no intention of leaving Manchester.

He wants to continue being a part of the trophy-laden squad and to help them win more silverware this season.

Zinchenko is also gunning for a new deal at the Etihad, which could see him spend the majority of his prime with the club.

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