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Manchester City beaten to $10 million signing of new left-back by Premier League rivals



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Roberto De Zerbi and Brighton & Hove Albion have beaten Manchester City to the signing of Boca Juniors left-back Valentin Barco, it has been reported.

For months it had been speculated that the reigning Premier League champions had held a strong interest in the defender, and while that line of reporting is believed to have been true, distance was left between themselves and negotiations last month.

In late December it had been reported that Manchester City were ‘unlikely’ to sign the 19-year-old, despite reports in Argentina stating that Etihad officials held an intention to sign the player both last summer and during the ongoing window.

Any late hopes from the part of Manchester City supporters will now have come to end with reports from reliable sources in England detailing just how close another Premier League side are to completing an agreement.

As per The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Boca Juniors left-back Valentin Barco is set to undergo a medical in Argentina ahead of completing a $10 million move to Brighton & Hove Albion – ending any chances of Manchester City securing the teenager’s services this month.

It is detailed that the 19-year-old is now poised to join the south coast Premier League club on an initial four-and-a-half-year contract, with the option of a further 12 months, after a sustained period of time linking the player with an Etihad Stadium switch.

Manchester City are however likely to remain active in the Argentine football market, as they move closer to a total agreement and official contract signing of Argentina under-17 captain Claudio Echeverri.

The teenage playmaker – who is highly-regarded across South America and tipped to be the next big name in Argentinean football – will remain on loan at his current club River Plate until next winter, before switching to European football.

Manchester City are not certain to take on the player upon his arrival next winter however, with some reports detailing that Girona – owned by the City Football Group – could welcome the attacking midfielder on a temporary agreement.