Former Barcelona ace tells Julian Alvarez how to succeed under Guardiola – ‘he’s just beginning’

Julian Alvarez of River Plate

Julian Alvarez has been sent advice on how to succeed under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, as the forward continues to shine in South America.

Alvarez hit 24 goals in 46 matches last season to help River Plate win the Argentine league title with three games to spare. His exceptional form led to plenty of interest from Europe, and the Premier League in particular.

Manchester United, Tottenham and Aston Villa all set their sights on him. But it was City who won the transfer race in January.

On deadline day, the reigning Premier League champions announced Alvarez had signed a long-term at the Etihad.

Reports claim the Citizens paid River Plate an initial €17million, plus €1.5m in bonuses. That equates to around £15.4m.

The 22-year-old attacker will spend the rest of the campaign on loan at River Plate, allowing him to continue his exciting development. So far this term he has found the net five times in six outings, including a hat-trick on February 17.

City’s statement revealing the signing suggested he could remain in Argentina until next January, although that may not be the case.

In February, Guardiola broke his silence on the latest capture. He said Alvarez would link up with the City squad over the summer. After that, Guardiola and club officials will decide what to do with him next.

Julian Alvarez given guidance by compatriot

Javier Saviola, who made 172 appearances for Barca between 2001 and 2007, has now sent Alvarez some advice.

“I would tell him that this is very big, still, he’s just beginning,” Saviola told Argentine outlet TyC Sports (via Sport Witness).

“The worst thing that can happen to us is rushing it. He has to enjoy himself, to continue doing the games he is doing. We know that he has a huge future ahead of him.”

Julian Alvarez will be looking to emulate Saviola by becoming a star for Argentina – he is on six caps for the country so far but is yet to score.

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Saviola added: “We have many things in common. Something I can say that at the moment, is I’m a little higher (laughs).

“The economic thing is important personally and for the club. I left [River Plate] when I was 19 and he is close by.

“What we like is football and he looks happy playing it. Then the issue of figures and values is anecdotal. He’s going to be at a club that is going to protect him and where football is played very well.”

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City hold meeting over midfielder signing

Meanwhile, City are reportedly in contact with Sporting Lisbon over the signing of a midfielder Pep Guardiola believes is ‘one of the best players in the world’.

Matheus Nunes is the man in question. He came up against City during the Champions League last 16 first leg in Lisbon.

Although the Premier League leaders ran out 5-0 winners, Nunes made a big impression on Guardiola. His performance even led to the coach to call him ‘one of the best players in the world’.

Nunes could not face City in the second leg due to suspension. However, he remains on the Citizens’ wish list.

According to Sport Witness, who cite Portuguese newspaper Record, City and Sporting held a meeting over Nunes’ availability last week.

At the consultation were City officials Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain. They were reportedly joined by Sporting chiefs Frederico Varandas and Hugo Viana.

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