Manchester United passed up the chance to sign prolific River Plate striker Julian Alvarez earlier in January, it has been revealed, allowing rivals Manchester City to steal a march.
90min reported on Friday that City had agreed terms on a deal worth around £20m for the 21-year-old, who will remain in Argentina for the rest of the season before joining up with his new side in the summer.
Alvarez – who has been touted as the successor to Sergio Aguero – had a release clause of around £18m, but it is believed that the two clubs have come to an understanding without needing it to be triggered.
With the transfer nearing completion, The Times have revealed that City’s arch rivals United had passed up the opportunity to sign young Alvarez earlier this month.
With the forward’s contract due to expire at the end of 2022, the player is said to have been offered to Man Utd earlier in the transfer window, but the Red Devils declined to pursue a deal.
It is a decision that could well be down to how well-stocked United are in the attacking department, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Elanga all currently on the books and being given minutes by interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
The same cannot be said for Man City, who sold Ferran Torres to Barcelona in December and saw club legend Aguero depart the club in the summer – a man who was never replaced as City failed in their arduous pursuit of Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
Argentina international Alvarez was the top scorer in the Liga Profesional last season and netted 24 times in 46 games in all competitions, as well as laying on 15 assists.