Manchester United have been linked to River Plate forward Julian Alvarez.
Alvarez has been linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs due to his goalscoring record for his club, and the Red Devils are one of favourites to sign the Argentine.
The forward, whose 18 league strikes helped guide Los Millonarios to the Primera Division title in December, has represented Argentina at youth level through to the senior team, and will now be looking to get his name in the senior World Cup squad next year.
Who is Julian Alvarez?
Born in Cordoba on 31 January, 2000, Alvarez is an Argentina international with five caps to his name.
The 21-year-old has spent his professional career with River Plate, having initially joined their Under-20 team at the age of 15, and has since come through their youth ranks, making his senior debut at 18.
Alvarez broke into the club’s first team during the 2018-19 campaign, making eight appearances in all competitions.
Since then, things have been on the up for the Argentine, with his goal tally last season making him the league’s highest scorer.
To date, the forward has featured 96 times for River Plate, scoring 36 goals and assisting his teammates on 28 occasions.
According to whoscored.com, Alvarez is performing at an overall average of 7.83 for club and country. His shots-per-game percentage is 3.1% - over double that of Marcus Rashford’s and more than Mason Greenwood’s (2.1) and Anthony Martial (1.2).
Though predominantly a striker, he can also play on the right wing and slot into the number-10 role as well.
Sebastian Abreu, a former Los Millonarios forward and Uruguay international, has described Alvarez as “constantly hungry [to score goals].”
However, the only downside to the 21-year-old’s performances so far for his nation is, he is yet to find the net for the 2021 Copa America winners.
How likely is the deal to go ahead?
This move could be an interesting one for United as Alvarez’s current release clause is £17m, rising to £21m by 21 January, as per Ole.
However, they reportedly face competition from some of Europe’s biggest teams, including AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus for the forward’s signature.
With Argentina’s top flight now wrapped up, a move from his homeland to one of Europe’s elite is looking likely, especially with the 21-year-old’s quest for a place in Argentina’s 2022 World Cup squad.
Whether the Red Devils are successful in their pursuit will likely come down to how much playing time Alvarez would get at Old Trafford, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani, Rashford, Greenwood, and Martial all competition for the forward.
What are the fans saying?
@BrunoMagnifico_ tweeted: “Just watched a couple of youtube compilations on Julian Alvarez and can confirm that we should get him.”
@ShookUTD had said: “This Julian Alvarez kid looks really promising
@ManUtd make it happen pal”