Manchester City are “expected to win” the battle for the signature of Boca Juniors left-back Valentin Barco, according to the Daily Mail.
The likes of Brighton and Chelsea (along with Serie A giants Juventus) are also known to be interested in the Argentinian defender but the Premier League champions are now firm favourites to snap him up.
Barco is believed to have an £8m release clause in his contract, which has attracted the attention of many suitors. He made his senior debut back in the summer of 2021 but he has only recently established himself as a regular starter at Boca.
The 19-year-old has started 11 league matches since April, having also made six appearances in the Copa Libertadores this season.
Boca are in the quarter-finals of the competition, having drawn the first leg 0-0 against fellow Argentinian team Racing Club last week. The return fixture in Buenos Aires takes place on Thursday evening.
Barco has also impressed for his country
While the teenager has not yet made his debut for Argentina at senior level, he was picked for the Under 20 World Cup back in May.
Barco played in all four games at the tournament, providing an assist in the opening fixture against Uzbekistan. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to prevent his country from being knocked out by Nigeria in the last 16.
Will Barco be a contender for City’s first team?
With Josko Gvardiol currently being played out of position at left-back, it can be argued that the Citizens could do with having another player who naturally plays in that position.
However, it’s generally the case that City loan out the young players they sign. The Argentinian youth international may well end up making the temporary switch to Girona or another City Football Group club if a deal can be arranged before the transfer window closes.