Man City battle Brighton for exciting Argentinian as Prem pair prepare to trigger release clause

Ciaran McCarthy
Valentin Barco, Argentina, May 2023
Valentin Barco on the ball during Argentina Under-20 game

Manchester City and Brighton have both reportedly sent offers to Valentin Barco, with the Premier League pair prepared to trigger his £8.5million release clause.

Both City and Brighton have added players to their sides who look to be useful assets this summer. The Seagulls have signed Bart Verbruggen, Joao Pedro, Igor and Adrian Mazilu.

Meanwhile, City have added Mateo Kovacic and Josko Gvardiol. City’s signings are players that will have an immediate impact on the side, where at least some of Brighton’s additions will take some bedding in time.

That’s what the Seagulls do so well, though. They find players who haven’t got a whole lot of experience, but do have high ceilings, and they help them to progress.

That might well be the case with Barco, if they manage to sign him. ESPN Argentina journalist Emiliano Raddi reports both Brighton and City have put ‘offers’ to the Argentinian.

The 19-year-old from Boca Juniors has a €10million (approximately £8.5million) release clause, which both sides are ‘willing to pay’.

Barco reportedly wants to ‘play the cup’ with Boca – presumably the Copa Libertadores, of which they are in the quarter-finals – and ‘will try to stay until the end’.

However, if Boca continue progressing through the tournament, but his release clause is met, he’ll have a hard decision on whether to stay or go.

Interest from two big Premier League names – both of which have European football this season – will be a big thing for the youngster, who can play as both a left-back and a left-winger.

Brighton have shown they have the capability to allow young players to reach their potential and go on to big things. The likes of Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister have been signed from South America and turned into big Premier League stars.

That could be what Barco is in line for if he is to make the move. Similarly, City signed Julian Alvarez as a youngster from South America, and despite their wealth of options, have turned him into a star, though he’s not a regular starter just yet.

As such, if either of those sides are to trigger Barco’s release clause, he’d surely take either move into consideration.

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