Manchester City are “very advanced” in their negotiations to sign Boca Juniors fullback Valentin Barco, according to Sport.
The Catalan newspaper reports that the teenager will not be loaned out if the Premier League champions secure his services, and he will become part of Pep Guardiola’s first-team squad straight away.
Boca have tried to extend Barco’s contract, with the aim of increasing his €10m (£8.7m) release clause, but they have not had much success, leaving the Cityzens with a chance to snap him up for a relatively modest fee.
However, there is a possibility that the 18-year-old could face his future club in the World Club Championships next month. If Boca win the Copa Libertadores final this weekend, they would qualify for the tournament in Saudi Arabia.
Other Premier League clubs have pursued Barco’s signature
Sport do claim that a number of different English teams have “gone after” the Argentinian Under 20 international in “recent weeks”.
Both Chelsea and Brighton have been linked over the past few months but City have always been the favourites to sign the player.
What do City fans need to know about Barco ahead of his potential arrival at the Etihad?
He is an attack-minded left-back, having also been deployed as a wingback and left-winger on occasion by Boca across the course of this season.
Barco is relatively inexperienced at senior level. Although he made his first-team debut all the way back in July 2021, he has gone on to make just 30 appearances for Boca; most of which have come over the last six months.
The defender has started regularly in Boca’s run to the Copa Libertadores final, starting 7 of 12 games in the tournament and he is expected to play against Fluminense in the final on Saturday. City fans will be intrigued to see how he gets on in what will be the biggest match of his career so far.