Julian Alvarez transfer 'plan' emerges as Barcelona give Man City Joao Cancelo clarity

Julian Alvarez
-Credit: (Image: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Atletico Madrid have reportedly made Julian Alvarez one of their main targets this summer and hope to lure him to the Spanish capital with the offer of guaranteed game time.

Alvarez started 31 of his 36 Premier League games, having featured as the supporting striker for the first half of the season amid Kevin De Bruyne’s injury absence. He managed to net 19 times across his 54 games across all competitions, although only four of those came after January, amid De Bruyne’s return.

In Man City’s 10 Champions League games, he only started twice. Alvarez has won all there is to win at the Etihad, and for Argentina, aged 24.

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Atletico would be expected to dangle the carrot of a more prominent role at the Metropolitano, according to Marca, and Alvarez could be further tempted to move given who is in charge at the Spanish club - fellow countryman Diego Simeone.

Alvarez is contracted at Man City until 2028 and would not be a cheap buy. Atletico would only likely be able to afford one big money arrival this summer but could see a sizeable fee reaped for Joao Felix if bought by Barcelona.

Meanwhile, forgotten Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo is wanted on a permanent basis by Barcelona. The full-back spent the year on loan at the Spanish giants as his feud with Pep Guardiola continues.

Cancelo has not played a competitive game for City since January 2023. Bayern borrowed him for the second half of the 2022/23 season but refused to pay his £61.5m buy-out clause.

Cancelo, who is under contract at the Etihad until 2027, was booed by some City supporters during his appearance for Bayern against his parent club in the Champions League quarter-final second leg in April 2023 due to his fall-out with Guardiola.

The defender became an important part of Barcelona’s set-up under Xabi, albeit the coach has now been replaced by Hansi Flick. Nevertheless, club president Joan Laporta says he is attempting to secure the permanent signing of Cancelo and Atletico attacker Felix.

He said, as per Mundo Deportivo: “We want them to continue for another season. Deco [sporting director] is working on it and we have the news that Flick believes they can be important. He already thought about them at Bayern.”