Manchester City transfer target Valentin Barco has told his “inner circle” that he will “pack his suitcases” ahead of leaving Boca Juniors in the January transfer window, according to Infobae.
The Citizens are believed to be closing in on a deal to sign the 19-year-old, having seen off the likes of Brighton, Chelsea and Juventus to secure the fullback’s services.
Barco is said to be hoping to leave Boca in style by helping them win the Copa Libertadores. They have reached the semi-finals of the competition after beating Racing Club in the previous round.
The defender has a $10m (£8m) release clause in his contract, which is unlikely to deter City as and when they do try to seal his signature in the New Year.
How has Barco been performing for Boca?
The Argentinian Under 20 international has only made 21 senior appearances in total, and 18 of those have come since April, when he made his first appearance of the 2023 Primera Division season against Estudiantes.
Since then, Barco has featured regularly both in the league and during Boca’s run in the Copa Libertadores. He has been deployed as a left-back, wingback and left-winger.
Will the defender join City to become a first-team player?
Barco’s lack of experience does suggest that he won’t be signed to go directly into Pep Guardiola’s squad. The City head coach could do with more options on the left-hand side of defence, but he has invariably used the likes of Josko Gvardiol and Nathan Ake as cover in that position when needed.
For that reason, you would expect Barco to be loaned out so he can play regularly, with a temporary move to one of the City Football Group’s long list of clubs likely being lined up.