The reigning Premier League champions are preparing to welcome a highly-rated Argentine onto their books alongside a prolific Norwegian striker
Erling Haaland may be heading to Manchester City this summer as the main man to lead their attack in 2022-23, but the prolific Norwegian is set to face competition at Etihad Stadium from Julian Alavarez – a man being tipped by fellow Argentina international Emi Martinez to become “a superstar”.
The Blues have moved quickly to get deals wrapped up in the latest recruitment window, with Haaland set to join Pep Guardiola’s ranks in a £51 million ($63m) agreement with Borussia Dortmund.
South American youngster Alavarez is also making his way to England, in a £14m ($17m) deal struck in January, and Martinez – who had been hoping to see a highly-rated compatriot join him at Aston Villa – is expecting the talented 22-year-old to make a huge impact with City.
City are buying into Alvarez’s potential, as a player untested in European football, but recently saw him hit six goals in a Copa Libertadores outing for River Plate.
He has also collected nine senior caps for Argentina, alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, and is being tipped to become a shrewd investment for the reigning Premier League champions.
Martinez, who is an international colleague of Alvarez, has said of the promising forward: “We all know the talent that Julian has. But he is a very humble guy who has sacrificed himself and has worked hard to get where he is.
“He is going to do well at City. In fact, I think he is going to be a superstar.
“I wanted him to come to Aston Villa. Before the Copa America last year, I told him to join us. But it was clear that City were already in position.
“Julian is going to do well there. We are talking about him working with one of the best coaches in the world. He will bring a lot of quality, but also a lot of commitment to the team.”
River Plate had, having seen City agree to let Alvarez remain on their books until the summer, been hoping to retain the services of a hot prospect through to January 2023 as they look to chase down another Copa Libertadores crown.
He will be available to them for a last-16 encounter with Velez Sarsfield in a prestigious continental competition, but bags will then be packed for England.
Alavarez is due to link up with City for the start of pre-season training on July 6.