Manchester City have confirmed the signing of Argentine international Julian Alvarez from River Plate, with Manchester United one of the clubs who lost out on the striker
Manchester City’s signing of Argentine wonderkid Julian Alvarez represents the latest failure of a Manchester United transfer masterplan.
Pep Guardiola’s men announced the arrival of the 22-year-old striker on transfer deadline day of the January window, with Alvarez remaining at River Plate on loan until the summer.
It marks quite the coup for City, who beat off competition from the Red Devils, Barcelona and Bayern Munich to bring in the Argentine international.
The signing also means that yet another United masterplan has failed, with Ralf Rangnick having been keen to add Alvarez to a United squad that has been lacking firepower under his management.
But rather than deploying their plan to perfection, the Red Devils will soon see Alvarez starring for their fierce rivals instead.
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It is quite the turnaround from the start of the month, when United appeared to be leading the chase for the young striker.
At that time, Argentine newspaper Ole reported that the hierarchy at the Red Devils had ‘put in a call’ to River Plate to open discussions.
In response they were told that they must meet his release clause if he was to leave, though it was a figure that appeared to be in easy reach of United.
It was a fee that would have been a relative steal for a player who is seen as one of the rising stars of the Argentine game having scored 36 goals since making his senior debut in 2018.
While United were making moves to sign him though, it emerged that Alvarez held more of an affinity for their city rivals.
“Playing in Europe is most people’s dream because of those leagues’ quality and what it means to be at those clubs,” he told Radio La Red in October 2020.
“But I am taking it easy. Obviously, I talk to my agent and my family, but I know I have to stay focused on what I’m doing. Later the time will come, through the work I am doing.
“On the Playstation I play with Barcelona or Manchester City.”
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Once his loan back to River Plate comes to an end, he will be playing for City for real, with the Premier League table toppers only having to pay an initial fee of £14million.
The fact that City have been able to negotiate a fee much lower than his reported release clause of £27m represents a major failing on United’s part.
And it is also clear that City’s own masterplan has been used to full effect, with the club’s director of football Txiki Begiristain of the belief that they can help Alvarez to thrive in Manchester.
“Julián is a player we have monitored for some time,” Begiristain told City’s club website.
“He is capable of operating in a number of attacking roles, and we firmly believe he’s one of the best young attacking players in South America.
“I am so happy we have managed to bring him to Manchester City. I really believe we can provide him with the right conditions to fulfil his potential and become a top player.”