Valentin Barco is reportedly likely to join Manchester City when he leaves Boca Juniors, thus handing a blow to Barcelona.

According to a report by Spanish outlet SPORT, Valentin Barco is the subject of interest from Barcelona. The reigning La Liga champions are combing the market for a left-back heading into the 2024 summer transfer window. But the 19-year-old Boca Juniors sensation will likely join Manchester City next year.

Valentin Barco is one of the brightest young prospects in his homeland. A native of Veinticinco de Mayo in the Buenos Aires province, the Argentine wonderkid began his youth career with Sportivo Las Parejas before having a short stint at Norberto de la Riestra. But his stock has soared since joining Boca Juniors in 2014.

The 19-year-old has risen through the ranks at the famous Argentine club before breaking into the first-team squad. Barco made his first-team debut two years ago and has turned out 27 times for them thus far, chipping in with one goal and three assists. Meanwhile, the youngster’s progress has not gone unnoticed, capturing the attention of Barcelona and Manchester City.

Recent reports have also linked Barco with high-profile clubs like AC Milan, Chelsea, and Real Madrid. But the update by SPORT has suggested that Barcelona and Manchester City are his most serious suitors. And Barcelona’s interest in the teenage sensation is understandable, despite the advent of Alejandro Balde.

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Balde will be the long-term left-back solution for Barcelona. But with Marcos Alonso on the wrong side of 30 and facing an uncertain future at the club, they should invest in a young left-back to compete with Balde. Barco has thus emerged as a viable target for Barcelona. But the Catalan giants face a losing battle to land the 19-year-old, who will likely join Manchester City when he leaves Boca Juniors.

Recent reports have claimed that Barco might sign a new contract with Boca Juniors amid the links with Manchester City. But the Premier League champions have been confident about landing the Argentine wonderkid. With Sergio Gomez not earning Pep Guardiola’s faith and Josko Gvardiol being the first-choice left-back, it behoves Manchester City to invest in a natural left-back.

Barco is thus a viable target for Manchester City, who should win the race to sign him. So, Barcelona must turn to an alternative, with Ian Maatsen emerging as a target. Meanwhile, Barco will likely join Manchester City next year.

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