English champions Manchester City are eyeing a summer swoop for Boca Juniors duo Exequiel Zeballos and Valentin Barco.
A recent report from Bola VIP has offered an update on Manchester City’s scouting mission in Argentina. They are keeping close tabs on Boca Juniors, and while they have been monitoring the development of several players in the team, the two youngsters Exequiel Zeballos and Valentin Barco have particularly attracted the attention of the English champions.
The report suggests Manchester City have requested a meeting with Boca Juniors surrounding the development of the two players. It appears the club are keen on incorporating both of them in Pep Guardiola’s plans for the upcoming season.
Among the two, Zeballos in particular has enjoyed some degree of success since making his breakthrough in the Boca first-team last year. A winger by trade, the youngster has notched up 17 competitive appearances for the club, notably scoring his maiden professional goal in the 8-1 win over Central Cordoba in December.
His teammate Valentin Barco is also a wide player. But the youngster operates as a left-back and is yet to make his breakthrough so far. However, he did appear in three league matches for Boca Juniors in the 2021 edition of the Argentine top division, and at the age of just 17, the Argentine has a bright future ahead of him.
Manchester City are keen on signing both the youngsters next season as coach Pep Guardiola looks to enhance the overall depth of his first team. The reigning English champions have already secured the services of one of Argentina’s biggest attacking gems in Julian Alvarez, who plies his trade for Boca’s arch-rivals, River Plate.
The addition of Zeballos and Barco could significantly improve the Citizens’ depth in the right-wing and left-back positions respectively. Especially at left-back, Guardiola has had only two reliable options in Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko, who was notably linked with a move away from the Etihad last month.
Although Barco has a long way to go before he can be considered as a reliable first-team option, the youngster could be an excellent alternative to Cancelo and Zinchenko next season. As for Zeballos, he is likely to be drafted in as an indirect replacement for Ferran Torres. The youngster offers similar versatility, which could prove to be useful for Guardiola next season.
However, Manchester City can expect strong resistance from Boca Juniors in their pursuit of Barco and Zeballos. The Argentine giants will be keen on holding on to their promising stars for at least another season. To that end, it won’t be surprising to see them retaining the duo’s services via a loan, even in the event of a potential sale to the Premier League giants.