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Shakhtar confirms interest in River Plate’s €22m rising star

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Photo by Juan Salamanca from Pexels
Photo by Juan Salamanca from Pexels

Julian Alvarez, 21, has attracted the attention of many top-flight European clubs this season. In particular, the Italian giants Juventus and AC Milan are reportedly considering a move for a striker, while Real Madrid continue to monitor him too.

According to UA-Football.com, the Ukrainian side Shakhtar are yet another contenders for a signature of a promising River Plate man. The head coach of the Donetsk club Roberto De Dzerbi confirmed his interest in Alvarez.

“We were thinking about Alvarez back in July, but we didn’t sign him because we made different conclusions. Now we are trying to finish the first part of the season as good as possible. 

We will try to win six remaining matches, and then we’ll see what to do in January in the transfer market. Sometimes, if you want to improve your team, you run the risk of making it worse. We must carefully select the best solution for the club.” the Italian said in his interview released by Shakhtar media. 

Shakhtar have their sights set on signing Alvarez, as their first-choice striker Lacina Traore will be out for about a year after suffering a severe knee injury in September’s Champions League clash against Inter Milan. The Burkina Faso international joined the Donetsk club in a 10 million euro move from Ajax back in July and scored nine goals in 14 football matches across all competitions. 

Due to Traore’s injury, De Dzerbi is forced to play wingers Fernando, Pedrinho, Tete and 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup winner Daniil Sikan in the forefront of the attack. However, in a bid to secure the Premier League title this season, Shakhtar still need a nominal striker.

The River Plate marksman has registered a whopping 15 goals in 16 league games. He has already made his international debut in June as a substitution for Angel Di Maria and has played five matches for the Albiceleste so far. 

Alvarez is rated 20 million euros by Transfermarkt, whereas a release clause in his current contract is set at 22 million. Shakhtar, owned by Ukraine’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, are realistically able to meet the asking price.

Should the move materialise, Alvarez will become the third Argentine striker in Shakhtar’s history. In 2013, the Donetsk club landed Facundo Ferreyra from Veles for 9 million euros. After spending several seasons adapting, Ferreira scored 47 goals in 70 games between 2016 and 2018 and subsequently joined SL Benfica on free transfer. Oviedo striker Gustavo Blanco-Leschuk represented Shakhtar between 2017 and 2019, but he failed to gain a foothold in the first squad, so he moved to Turkish Antalyaspor.