Barca eye Torres repeat as Xavi ‘asks’ if ‘extraordinary’ but ‘ostracised’ City man is ‘available’

Reported Barcelona target Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland hug after a win Credit: Alamy
Reported Barcelona target Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland hug after a win Credit: Alamy

Barcelona are interested in signing Manchester City striker Julian Alvarez, according to reports in Spain.

Alvarez has impressed for City this season after joining from River Plate last year.

Signed for a measly £17million, the 23-year-old has not played as often as he would like due to the incredible form of Erling Haaland.

When given the chance, the Argentina international has taken it, scoring 10 goals in 30 appearances across all competitions for his new team.

Alvarez played the full 90 minutes for only the fourth time in the Premier League against Bournemouth on Saturday and marked the occasion with a goal.

The young striker gained a lot of plaudits for his stellar World Cup campaign last year.

Alvarez scored four goals in seven appearances in Qatar, including two in the semi-final victory over 2018 finalists Croatia.

He also played 103 minutes in the historic final win against France.

Argentina captain Lionel Messi loved playing alongside Alvarez, hailing him for an “extraordinary” performance against Croatia.

“During the whole World Cup, but also on Tuesday, he was extraordinary. He ran everything,” Messi said.

“He fought for everything – creating chances, fighting. For us, he was the surprising discovery, and he deserves everything that has happened to him because he is a lovely guy.”

With minutes coming at a premium at club level, Alvarez may be open to a move elsewhere.

This is according to Spanish newspaper Sport, anyway.

A fresh report from the publication states that Alvarez expected more opportunities under Pep Guardiola but the ‘stiff competition’ from Haaland has left him ‘ostracised’.

Alvarez wants ‘more prominence’ and ‘could ask’ for a ‘departure’ at the end of the season.

Barcelona apparently want another striker to accompany Robert Lewandowski and are ‘probing various options’, including the 23-year-old World Cup winner.

The La Liga giants are going to ask City about the loan signing of Alvarez – who ‘understands that he cannot stagnate in his progression’ by continuing to play second-fiddle to Haaland.

He, and his entourage, are ‘concerned’ and it is believed a loan to Barcelona ‘is attractive for all parties’.

Representatives for City and Barcelona actually spoke during the Catalan side’s match against Manchester United at Old Trafford last week, it is claimed.

The report states that both clubs have a ‘magnificent’ relationship despite City’s reluctance to sell them Bernardo Silva last summer.

Having said that, the Premier League champions sold Ferran Torres to Barcelona and Alvarez – whose arrival is apparently why Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling were sold by City last summer – could look to replicate the Spaniard’s transfer.

Barca ‘know’ they will have ‘little money’ to spend at the end of the season, which is why they are looking to sign Alvarez on loan, not permanently.

The La Liga leaders scouted the player during his time at River Plate, though there was ‘never’ a possibility of beating City to his signature.

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