Manchester United have confirmed their interest in signing River Plate’s sensational young striker Julian Alvarez, according to reports from Italy.
The 21 year old finished the Argentinian season as the league’s top scorer and his powerful performances have catapulted him into being one of the world’s most sought-after young forwards.
His £17 million buyout clause and the fact that the Argentinian season has now finished mean that he is one of the most likely players to be snapped up in the winter window and his agent is reportedly in Europe talking to several top clubs.
Conflicting reports have said United were about to trigger the release clause and that they were not at all interested in signing the player at this stage.
This new report from Gazzetta dello Sport pitches United’s interest somewhere in the middle:
‘Atletico Madrid were among the first to send their 007s on a mission and the agent also had an interview in Spain with Real Sociedad,’ the outlet claims.
‘On the English stage, however, United have confirmed their interest, while from Argentina they include Nice in France.’
Four Italian clubs, AC and Inter Milan, Napoli and Atalanta, are all pursuing the star, leading Gazzetta to muse, ‘Who will win the auction for Alvarez?’
The assumption here is that given the current financial climate, the release clause will not be triggered – there would be no auction if the figure was met. Bids under the £17 million are therefore expected in the coming days.
Previous reports in the Italian press have also claimed that the Italian sides want to negotiate below the £17 million figure.
If United are, indeed interested, this puts them in a very strong position as simply triggering that buyout option could be enough to see off their cash-strapped opposition.
With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani being in the twilight of their careers, capturing a young star such as Alvarez at this stage could represent very shrewd business for the Red Devils.