Manchester United no longer interested in £16m striker as Manchester City reportedly set to make move

The River Plate forward has also been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich in the January transfer window.

Manchester City could be set to secure a £16 million move for River Plate striker Julian Alvarez with Manchester United reportedly ending their interest in the player.

The Star have reported that the Red Devils have “decided not to pursue a deal” for the 21-year old and City could swoop in a beat other interested parties to the player.

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Real Madrid are also heavily linked with the forward while the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan have been in the conversation at various times.

Here is everything you need to know about the player and the latest reports:

Who is Julian Alvarez?

Argentina’s forward Lionel Messi gestures next to forward Julian Alvarez during a training session in Ezeiza, Buenos Aires province, on October 13, 2021, on the eve of a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifier against Peru

Julián Álvarez is a striker who plays for Argentine Primera División champions River Plate. The forward has spent his entire career with Los Millonarios, making his senior debut in 2018.

2021 was a breakout year for Álvarez who has chalked up an impressive 22 goals in 45 games across all competitions for his club.

Of those goals, 20 came in his 30 Argentine Primera División appearances, making him the season’s top scorer.

At international level, the striker has already won five caps for the Argentina having previously played with the Under-20 and Under-23 sides.

He made his debut for Argentina in June in a World Cup qualifier against Chile where he came off the bench to replace former Manchester United player Ángel Di María.

Álvarez already has an impressive medal haul despite his young age and lifted the Argentine Primera División title with River Plate last season as well as the Copa América with Argentina.

He won the 2021 South American Footballer of the Year, a prestigious award that has previously went to players such as Neymar, Juan Sebastián Verón, Carlos Tevez and Ronaldinho.

Last week the forward appeared in the Guardian’s annual “100 best footballers in the world” list, where he was placed at 91.

What has been reported about Julián Álvarez signing for Manchester United and Manchester City?

Manchester United were heavily linked with the player towards the end of 2021 and were reportedly set to pay his £17 million release clause earlier this month.

However, the latest news around United’s interest is that they are no longer pursuing a deal and that appears to have opened the door for their City rivals.

Today’s reports say that City have held talks with Alvarez's representatives and are confident of agreeing a deal before the end of the January transfer window.

Surprisingly, it is also being suggested that City will immediately loan the player out to another club in Europe once they have completed the deal despite only having only one out-and-out centre forward in their current squad.

The Blues sold Ferran Torres to Barcelona at the end of December 2021, leaving Gabriel Jesus as their only recognised striker and have been linked with a number of top European forwards including Erling Haaland and Dušan Vlahović.

Despite the notable names, City boss Pep Guardiola has suggested they might not add a new striker this window and instead look to give some of their home-grown talents a change in the first team.