Julian Alvarez has been hailed as a remarkable bargain, arriving at Manchester City just two summers ago. His tenure at City has been marked by significant achievements, including winning the World Cup six months after his arrival. Despite his talent and accomplishments, Alvarez has struggled to secure a regular spot in Pep Guardiola’s starting lineup. That’s largely due to the presence of the prolific Erling Haaland.

In Alvarez’s case at City, an outstanding teammate completely eclipsed his skills. Haaland’s dominance in the forward position has limited Alvarez’s opportunities, despite his ability to excel for the Argentine national team. This lack of consistent starting opportunities has led to speculation about Alvarez’s future at Manchester City.

On Tuesday, Marca reported that Atletico Madrid identified Julian Alvarez as their top target to bolster their forward line. Also, Argentine journalist Hernan Castillo, who has connections with River Plate, Alvarez’s former club, suggested that it is “very probable” Alvarez will leave the Etihad this summer. Atletico Madrid’s interest in the youngster shows his potential and possible use to a squad eager to improve their offense.

Guardiola’s facing more dilemmas

Pep Guardiola is reportedly preparing for the possibility of losing another key player following Kevin De Bruyne’s openness to a move. Alvarez has four years remaining on his contract with Manchester City. But while Guardiola has found ways to provide him with playing time, Alvarez remains behind Haaland in the pecking order. So, despite scoring 19 goals in all competitions this season, his future at the Etihad is uncertain.

The 24-year-old has expressed contentment with his increased playing time this season. He has adapted to different roles within the team, playing both as a No.9 and No.10. He has also appreciated the trust Guardiola has shown in him.

“I played more this season – the first year I had to be more patient – I’ve played in different positions – as a nine or a 10. But I’m happy to be playing a lot more,” Alvarez stated several months ago.

City’s willingness to let players leave if they wish, as seen with Raheem Sterling and Aymeric Laporte, could facilitate the Argentine’s departure. Atletico Madrid, under Diego Simeone, sees Alvarez as a valuable addition, especially with current forwards like Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata facing uncertain futures. Simeone’s Argentine connection with his compatriot further fuels speculation about a potential move.

Atletico Madrid is not alone in Julian Alvarez interest

However, Atletico are not the only club interested in Alvarez. Barcelona has also shown admiration for the young forward, although their financial constraints could hinder a potential transfer.

Manchester City has a history of selling players to Barcelona, including Joao Cancelo (on loan), Ferran Torres, and Ilkay Gundogan. Alvarez could be the next in line if the Catalans can overcome their financial difficulties.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid’s earlier interest has waned with the arrival of Kylian Mbappe. But, Premier League clubs, like Arsenal, and other European giants, such as Paris Saint-Germain, could also enter the fray for the striker’s signature.

The idea of an Italian Serie A side or PSG making a move for Alvarez is also plausible, given his impressive track record and potential for growth.