For the past few weeks, the Italian press have stated Julián Álvarez’s agent held meetings with the officials of AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus for the transfer of the River Plate star.

On Friday, multiple reports coming out of Argentina said Manchester City are now leading the race to sign the 21-year-old.

The forward has a €20m release clause, but TyC Sports journalist Juan Cortese stated the Premier League winners are paying €22.2m for the forward. Another journalist, Veronica Brunati, also backed up the claims made by Cortese.

Despite the three Italian sides showing interest in the Argentine international, ‘Milan, Inter and Juventus mocked at the photo finish’ as Álvarez is ‘one step away’ from City. That’s according to Calciomercato.

The website contradicts claims made in Argentina, by stating the English champions will pay around €18m, which is €2m less than his buyout clause. This has allowed them to get ahead of the Serie A sides.

Manchester City found an agreement for the transfer of Álvarez ‘immediately’ and will let him stay at River Plate on loan, at least until June. The temporary stay could be extended until the end of this year, with the Citizens ‘covering the salary immediately’.

These are exciting conditions for the South American club, that allows them retain their star for at least six months [or until the end of 2022], during which time the Etihad club will take care of his wages.

Calciomercato end the report by stating: ‘A shot requested and expressly evaluated by Pep Guardiola, who sees Álvarez as the forward of the future. And in Serie A, once again, only the crumbs could remain.’