Manchester City Transfer Round-Up: Cityzens Scout Brazil’s ‘next Alexandre Pato’

Manchester City are still very well in the race to sign now-Barcelona centre forward Sergio Aguero’s direct replacement and it could be a busy winter transfer window at the Etihad Stadium, especially on the attacking front. Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva have already been linked with their respective exits, and a signing can be expected to bolster the squad

Pep Guardiola’s Cityzens have fared without problem in the final third – possessing the second best attack in the Premier League with 22 goals scored. They are also second in Europe’s goalscoring charts with 15 goals scored after just four group matchdays in the Champions League, only two behind high-flying Bayern Munich. The English champions are nonetheless keen to add to their firepower.

Followed intently by European heavyweights at the ripe age of 20, Internacional striker Yuri Alberto has been touted to follow the footsteps of the club’s former golden boy Alexandre Pato, according to various reports.

What Do We Know Already?

Although Manchester City have coped unsurprisingly well without a pure centre-forward in Pep Guardiola’s false nine system, it is worth noting that they are still in pursuit of a marksman. After failing to lure Harry Kane in the summer – with his move being blocked by chairman Daniel Levy after much commotion – City shelled out a fortune in a six-year contract term, the biggest transfer deal in British football history, for former Villa talisman Jack Grealish.

They first preferred to sign a proper striker, only to go for a midfielder instead. But now, taking into account the long-term future of the centre forward role, City are ready to go all-in once again and it might prove fruitful to invest in a young striker who can don the box with his attacking prowess.

It is with that intention that Gabriel Jesus was brought in from Palmeiras in 2017. Despite holding the No.9 shirt, the Brazilian forward’s versatility has allowed him to operate productively on the wings rather than as a traditional centre-forward, thus fuelling the search for Sergio Aguero’s direct replacement.

Just like Jesus, Yuri looks promising enough to be Brazil’s next big export, but it is not the Manchester giants who are leading the transfer race.

The Latest Developments

FutebolMercado correspondent Juliano Machado has substantiated City’s interest in the Brazil U23 international, per confirmation from the player’s agent Andre Cury.

However, the Blues aren’t the only one keeping close tabs. It is said that Italian giants AC Milan are in the driving seat for his goal scoring services and Alberto reportedly sees a move to San Siro as the best way to progress his career. Everton, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Roma and Lyon are also said to be lurking in the shadows.

Internacional president Alessandro Barcellos has insisted that Alberto will leave only on their terms, given his stature as a highly sought-after and distinguished player in the Brazilian club’s ranks. His contract expires in 2025, giving the club ample freedom to quote a well-paid asking price.

Is Alberto Manchester City Material?

The ex-Santos prodigy recently touched 100 appearances in his career, scoring 32 goals in the process, including 29 in 73 caps for Internacional. He recently spoke to Globo Esporte and exclaimed that he does dream of playing in Europe one day. And it may not be long before we see the 20-year-old ply his trade in Europe.

Manchester City are realistically capable of luring him but seem headstrong on getting Kane from North London. According to odds provided by the best betting sites, Harry Kane still ranks as one of Manchester City’s top targets and is odds-on-favourite to move in one of the upcoming transfer windows. However, with the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo and the on boarding of Antonio Conte at Tottenham, the English striker’s stance is yet unknown. With the aforementioned resource, one can access a huge knowledge base regarding betting and placing one’s hand on a multitude of sports, let alone football. Players, whether old or new, can also benefit from rewards and bonuses such as loyalty points, instant pay puts, quick cashbacks and accumulator schemes.

City have given extra importance to the booming Brazilian football market in recent seasons, most recently signing fellow wonderkid Kayky from Fluminense. Ligue 1 side Troyes, who also come under the City Football Group umbrella, acquired his teammate Metinho from the club’s ranks.

Alberto is an excellent finisher of the ball, displaying the knack to outrun defenders with his burst of pace to change directions and impressive acceleration. Given his technical ability in the final-third and glaring comparisons with Pato, he would certainly be a welcome addition to Guardiola’s future plans and most likely to follow the same development path as Gabriel Jesus.

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