Brighton & Hove Albion have been given a great second chance to land Manchester City target Valentin Barco, with reports detailing when Boca Juniors will allow the 19-year-old to move on.
Barco is a left-back or left midfielder who represents Argentina U20s on the international stage. After coming through the Boca Juniors academy, Barco has gone on to play 21 times for their first team.
His impressive performances at senior level have led to rumours he might follow in the footsteps of of players such as Carlos Tevez and Rodrigo Bentancur by emerging from Boca Juniors academy graduate to a star in European football.
In February, it emerged that City were hoping to follow up on their January 2022 capture of striker Julian Alvarez by signing Barco and and his Boca team-mate Exequiel Zeballos, who plays as a winger.
Then, in August, it was claimed that City were aiming to bring Barco in as an immediate replacement for Joao Cancelo, who ended up signing on loan for Barcelona late on deadline day. At the time, City faced competition from Brighton for Barco, but he ultimately ended up remaining in Argentina.
There has now been a big double update on the teenager’s future. According to ESPN (as cited by Bolavip and Sport Witness), Boca will have to sell Barco in the January transfer window as this is when he wants to take the next step in his career.
Reporter Martin Costa has also weighed in on the situation, revealing Boca ‘won’t be able to resist’ in the next transfer window after previously convincing Barco to stay with them in the summer.
“If they agree on the number, they will sell him at the end of the year. There are two offers,” Costa said.
Brighton, Man City told Boca Juniors ‘can’t resist’ winter sale
“Boca won’t be able to resist at the end of the year. Now they can because the boy made the decision to stay, the Brighton thing was solved. It seems to me that in December there is no turning back.”
ESPN’s report looks at Brighton and their chances of snaring Barco. Although, the Seagulls must move fast, as in Argentina there is growing talk of him signing for a ‘top Premier League club’, which is a category epitomised by City.
In previous years, it would simply have been no contest between these two clubs, as City could have blown Brighton away with a vastly superior bid. But that is no longer the case.
After selling players such as Moises Caicedo, Alexis Mac Allister and Robert Sanchez, Brighton have money to burn when it comes to the Barco pursuit. And they can also convince the player that joining them is the best next step for him, as they provide a fantastic platform for young players to become noticed by Europe’s elite sides.