Manchester City are reportedly on the verge of securing a deal to sign River Plate superstar Julian Alvarez, who is set to join the Etihad camp in the summer.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has recently provided an update on Manchester City’s pursuit of Julian Alvarez. The Italian journalist has confirmed the deal between the English champions and River Plate surrounding the transfer of the Argentine attacker, who will pen a five-year deal with the Premier League champions.

Alvarez is expected to remain at River Plate on loan until the end of the season before joining the Manchester City camp in the summer. He is expected to cost around €18.5 million, making him the first January signing for Pep Guardiola.

Part of the River Plate setup since 2015, Alvarez has enjoyed immense growth at the club, especially after his promotion to the senior team in early 2019. The forward has racked up 96 competitive appearances in just three years, scoring 36 goals while bagging 26 assists. His blazing performances in the Argentine top-flight has propelled him as one of the most exciting talents in the country.

The youngster’s imminent move to Manchester City could serve as a major blow for Newcastle United. The Magpies were keen on snapping up the Argentine striker earlier in the winter transfer window but have since set their sights elsewhere, including Manchester United starlet Jesse Lingard.

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As for Manchester City themselves, their pursuit of Alvarez is perhaps unsurprising. Their coach Guardiola is desperate to add a centre-forward to his squad after losing Sergio Aguero and, most recently, Ferran Torres to FC Barcelona. Their exits have formed a massive void in the club’s goalscoring department.

Alvarez, though, is unlikely to become a starter at Manchester City next season. In terms of style of play, the forward resembles the philosophy of Gabriel Jesus, a modern-day forward who is quick with his movements. And Guardiola could sign a more traditional centre-forward in the summer.

Manchester City have already rekindled their pursuit of Harry Kane while Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland remains a top target. Alvarez, to that end, is likely to serve as a deputy for the main striker, while he can also compete with the wide attackers, thanks to his technical prowess and versatility in the final third.

Meanwhile, Julian Alvarez will be hoping to continue his merry ways in the Argentine top-flight during the remaining six months of his spell at River Plate. While the 2021 edition of the Professional Football League has recently been done and dusted, the Argentine will have an opportunity to take the field again next month when his team kick-start their cup campaign.

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