The 19-year-old Valentin Barco has been on the Citizens’ radar for some time, and during the summer transfer window, he was reportedly interested in moving to the Etihad Stadium.
Despite reports that Juventus and Brighton & Hove Albion are also interested in signing Valentin Barco, it looks like Man City has climbed to the top of the list of suitors.
Earlier this summer, Pep Guardiola’s team supposedly made Barco a “tempting offer” that was more than Brighton’s offer, but the young player was unable to join the blue side of Manchester.
German Garcia Grova, an Argentine journalist, claims that Man City have an agreement in principle with Barco and that representatives of the treble winners are planning to visit South America to negotiate a contract with Boca Juniors in preparation for a possible transfer in January.
The negotiations for Barco are expected to involve Joan Patsy, director of City Football Group, a South American-based executive who was instrumental in the signings of Gabriel Jesus and Julian Alvarez.
Barco, a Buenos Aires native, has drawn interest from clubs throughout Europe since making his senior squad debut for Boca Juniors earlier this year and becoming a regular member of the first team.
For the Argentine giants, Barco has made 21 first-team appearances across all competitions, including six Copa Libertadores games and 11 league starts this season.
The versatile left-flanker, who can play as a left-back or a left winger, scored his first goal as a senior in a Copa Libertadores group-stage victory over Monagas SC. He will soon try to help Boca Juniors advance to the final of South America’s top club competition when they play Palmeiras in the semi-finals.
Barco is regarded as one of the top young players in the Argentine Primera Division and has already represented his country three times at the Under-20 level.
The adolescent has a contract with Boca Juniors through December 2024, and Man City is rumored to be willing to exercise an £8 million release provision in the agreement.
Barco might soon join the list of recent Argentines to move to Manchester City, joining Maximo Perrone and Alvarez, although it’s unclear whether Guardiola would try to get the kid into his first-team lineup.
This season, Nathan Ake and high-profile summer acquisition Josko Gvardiol have both played left defender. Guardiola also has the option of using Sergio Gomez, a dynamic Wideman with a similar profile to Barco, although he is only a minor player in the senior squad at the moment.