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Manchester City complete £14m transfer of River Plate star Julian Alvarez

Manchester City have completed the £14 million ($18m) signing of River Plate forward Julian Alvarez on a five-and-a-half-year contract.

The Argentina international, who turned 22 on transfer deadline day, will remain on loan at River until July at least.

Alvarez, who scored 20 goals in 35 league appearances for River last season as well as registering nine assists, was a target for a host of European clubs, including Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

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What's been said?

“Julian is a player we have monitored for some time,” City's director of football Txiki Begiristain said.

“He is capable of operating in a number of attacking roles, and we firmly believe he's one of the best young attacking players in South America.

“I am so happy we have managed to bring him to Manchester City. I really believe we can provide him with the right conditions to fulfil his potential and become a top player.”

Who is Julian Alvarez?

City believe they are buying a player with a huge potential, with Alvarez considered one of Argentina’s most promising young stars.

He has already made six appearances for the national team in World Cup qualifiers and Copa America, and his playing style has drawn comparisons with City legend Sergio Aguero.

He spent two years at Real Madrid's academy as a youngster but was unable to sign for them as he was under the age of 13.

After returning to Argentina with River, he made his professional debut in 2018 and has 36 goals in 96 appearances and was understood to have a release clause in his contract worth £17m ($23m).

Mainly a striker, Alvarez can play anywhere across the front three and was used as a right winger in Argentina's 0-0 draw with Brazil in November.

Will Alvarez get a chance at Manchester City?

He is set to stay at River until the summer before meeting up with his new team-mates in pre-season.

Alvarez could be ready to be part of Pep Guardiola's squad for the new campaign, but the club are set to keep an open mind over his future.

There is the possibility that he could be sent out on loan to a sister club that is part of the City Football Group.

City are likely to buy a main striker before the start of the new season, having missed out on Tottenham's Harry Kane as a replacement for Aguero, with Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland a potential target.

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