Man City land double Man Utd blow with striker deal ‘done’, Red Devils exit now touted

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

River Plate’s president has confirmed Man City have pipped Man Utd to a Julian Alvarez transfer in a move that could prompt a Red Devils exit, per reports.

Pep Guardiola’s side have never truly replaced Sergio Aguero in their side. The legendary Argentine led the Man City line for a decade, though Guardiola has since operated with a series of false nines following his departure.

While that is not the conventional way, it has worked for Pep with City still the dominant force in English football.

Nonetheless, reports last week revealed City were closing in on the signature of River Plate’s Julian Alvarez.

The 21-year-old plays primarily at centre-forward and produced a stellar campaign in 2021. The Argentina international bagged 24 goals and 15 assists across 46 matches in all competitions. That sparked City’s interest and a €18.5m (£15.5m) transfer was lodged.

Now, according to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano, that move is now a ‘done deal’. A five-year contract will be signed, though Alvarez will remain on loan at River Plate until July.

Man City want River Plate striker Julian Alvarez

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

The news was given confirmation by River Plate’s president, Jorge Brito. Via Romano, Brito said: “We’ve a full agreement with Manchester City to sell Julián. The deal is done. He’s going to stay on loan here at River Plate until July 7.”

Alvarez had been a transfer target for Man Utd, though Ralf Rangnick’s side have now missed out. And in another blow, the Daily Express report River Plate could now target Edinson Cavani in the summer.

Cavani lined up to replace Julian Alvarez

The Uruguayan veteran has surpassed expectations at Old Trafford. However, Cristiano Ronaldo’s return has limited his impact this season, and an exit could be on the cards next summer when his contract expires.

Interest from South America has been rampant, most notably from Corinthians and Boca Juniors. However, the Express state River Plate are now sounding out Cavani as their Alvarez replacement in July.

For his part, Cavani is deemed open to returning to South America. He was on board with returning to the continent last summer before a fresh United contract offer turned his head. Though if he does return to South America, a massive pay-cut will be required.

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Meanwhile, Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling reportedly had a meeting with Barcelona chief Mateu Alemany, but the Blaugrana opted to sign Ferran Torres instead.

Spain forward Torres joined Barcelona at the start of the January transfer window after they agreed to pay City £46.3million for his services. The 21-year-old was willing to remain at the Etihad but also had dreams of playing for one of his country’s biggest clubs.

Torres’ former team-mate Sterling had been in line for a Barcelona switch himself after losing his place in Pep Guardiola’s starting eleven early in the season. Sterling even admitted he ‘would be open’ to moving abroad, should the opportunity arise.

The Daily Mail, who cite Spanish outlet Sport, reveal Barca’s interest in the 27-year-old. They claim Sterling met with Alemany to discuss a potential move to the Nou Camp.

The director reported back to manager Xavi that Sterling was ‘indisputably talented’. However, he also claimed the Englishman ‘would be a martian’ as he would not fit in with the Barca squad.

As a result, the Spanish giants contacted City over Torres’ availability instead. He was seen as an ideal fit given his relationship with Spain team-mates Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Pedri.

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