Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Pep Guardiola responds as another source claims major Man City striker signing talks

James Marshment
Pe .Guardiola, Manchester City press conference

Pep Guardiola is giving little away after breaking his silence on reports that Manchester City are closing on the signing of Julian Alvarez.

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.

That form has led to speculation of interest from a host of top European sides, with Aston Villa and Tottenham initially linked.

Reports then suggested Ralf Rangnick is eager to sign Alvarez for Manchester United, as soon as Anthony Martial’s future is sorted.

However, reports over the last 48 hours claim it is City who are closing on a £21m deal.

Those reports initially emerged from Sport Illustrated, who citing journalist Hernan Castillo, claim Pep Guardiola’s side will soon finalise an agreement for Alvarez.

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

Now a third source, the trusted Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, also claims the Blues are in ‘advanced talks’.

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.

Guardiola though was typically evasive when asked to provide more details on a possible move.

Speaking after their 1-1 draw at Southampton, Guardiola was giving little away when asked by Sky Sports.

“I don’t have any info about the club, anything. Not one word. I don’t know anything. I don’t have any info about the club…”

River Plate know Julian Alvarez replacement

Julian Alvarez River Plate TEAMtalk

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

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.

Guardiola reflects on Saints draw

Guardiola, meanwhile, insists he was delighted with his players after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at St Mary’s.

He told Sky Sports: “We played really well. Unfortunately, in the first half we conceded a goal. But I think this was one of our best performances of the season, by far.

Man City want River Plate striker Julian Alvarez

Pep Guardiola wants to bring River Plate striker Julian Alvarez to Manchester City

“They were incredibly organised and this is one of the best performances we played against them. Yes, the result was not good, but in terms of performance and the way we played, it was excellent.

“We played better than in the Arsenal game, when we won, and today we drew. Sometimes you deserve it and you don’t win. But the way we played here was excellent.

“Southampton are a really good team. They are organised, they play 4-4-2, long balls, good pace in counter-attack, good build up… But we were brilliant today.

“Why should we lose belief in what we have done? It was a good performance. We are going to drop points. But the way we behave is very good.

“We have two weeks to prepare for the next game. People will say the Premier League race is not over and that is good for this side. We have many tough games ahead of us. But we will try to behave until the end.

“I would like to have a 40-point lead ahead of Liverpool. But that is not possible in January. I didn’t expect to have this lead. But now we will rest and come back as best as possible.”

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