- Julian Alvarez has enjoyed an impressive start to the season for Manchester City
- Alvarez’s form has seen him attract suitors, with Barcelona keeping tabs on him
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’
Barcelona are reportedly eyeing up a move for Man City forward Julian Alvarez.
The Argentinian star – who scored four goals as his country won the World Cup last year – moved to the Etihad from River Plate in January 2022 for £14.1m.
He scored 17 goals in all competitions last season as City won the Treble, although he started just 23 times as the 23-year-old largely played second fiddle to Erling Haaland.
However, with injuries to key attackers, Alvarez has fulfilled a more prominent role so far this campaign, adding six goals and five assists in 13 matches.
And now, according to Spanish outlet Sport, Barcelona are keeping tabs on the forward as they look to line-up a long term replacement for Robert Lewandowski.
Barcelona are reportedly eyeing up a move for Man City’s Argentinian forward Julian Alvarez
The Catalan giants are looking to line-up a long-term replacement for Robert Lewandowski, 35
The Polish forward, 35, joined the Catalan giants for £42.5m last summer from Bayern Munich and netted 33 goals in all competitions during 2022-23.
However, given his age and current absence with an injury, Barcelona boss Xavi and sporting director Deco – who are both fans of Alvarez – are keen on ensuring there is sufficient back-up to Lewandowski.
While 18-year-old Brazilian wonderkid Vitor Roque is set to join the club in January, Lewandowski was also linked with a move to Saudi Arabia in the summer, meaning there could be greater urgency to strengthen in attacking areas.
The report goes on to state Xavi is a huge fan of Alvarez due to his goal-scoring ability and versatility across the frontline, with the Argentine able to play centrally, deeper and out wide.
It also claims the 23-year-old has a €50m (£43.4m) release clause which has given encouragement to Barcelona to pursue a move.
Barcelona boss Xavi is a huge fan of Alvarez and his versatility to play across the front line
However, the 23-year-old reportedly has a very good relationship with City boss Pep Guardiola
However, their hopes of completing a deal are likely to be hindered by several factors.
Firstly, he is said to enjoy an extremely good relationship with Pep Guardiola, while City director of football Txiki Begiristain is unlikely to make it easy for his former club to strike a deal.
Meanwhile, Alvarez penned a new five-year contract towards the end of last season which doubled his wages to around £100,000-a-week and was another example of the high regard City hold him in.
The Argentine is currently on international duty and started their two 2026 World Cup qualifying victories against Paraguay and Peru over recent days.