Matthijs de Ligt's decision to join Juventus rather than a club like Barcelona or Manchester City took his former youth team coach Ronald de Boer by surprise.

De Ligt came through Ajax's famed academy and enjoyed a rise to prominence at a very young age, earning a promotion to the first-team squad soon after his 17th birthday.

He then became the club's youngest captain as an 18-year-old and last season played a pivotal role in Ajax's journey to the semi-finals of the Champions League, before they were eventually eliminated in dramatic fashion by Tottenham.

An impressive physical specimen but also technically gifted for a centre-back, De Ligt appeared to have a litany of clubs vying for his signature last year, with Barca – who signed his Ajax team-mate Frenkie de Jong – seemingly the ideal fit.

But Juve made their move to inject developing talent into their aging backline, and De Boer concedes Turin was not the destination he had in mind for De Ligt.

"Clubs closest to the Ajax system like, Man City and Barcelona were interested," De Boer told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"It would have been easier to adapt. I thought he would have made a different choice, but I respect the decision very much."

Despite making a choice that might have taken De Ligt out of his comfort zone, De Boer remains confident he will be an era-defining defender.

"I was working in the academy of Ajax, I immediately liked his character: serious, intelligent, kind, he never complains, he works hard and learns," De Boer said

"And then he always had the skills of the great defender. He understood where the danger was coming... I remember him at under-14 level, when he returned from the following year 30 centimetres taller. He will be one of the best of this era, sure."

Former Republic of Ireland and Liverpool forward Michael Robinson has died aged 61 following a battle with skin cancer.

Robinson also represented Preston North End, Manchester City, Brighton and Hove Albion and Queens Park Rangers before moving to Osasuna for the final two and a half years of his playing career.

That paved the way for a move into punditry and broadcasting in Spain, where Robinson established himself as an authoritative and respected voice on the country's national sport.

He won 24 caps for Ireland, while a sole campaign at Anfield in 1983-84 saw him play a part in Division One, European Cup and League Cup glory.

"With tremendous sadness we inform you of Michael's death," a tweet posted to Robinson's official Twitter account on Tuesday read.

"It leaves us with a great emptiness, but also countless memories, full of the same love that you have shown him.

"We will be eternally grateful to you for making this man SO HAPPY, he never walked alone."

Robinson's standing within the Spanish football fraternity was quickly underlined as Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos offered "my love to your family and friends", while Barcelona paid tribute to "a person who loved football and who knew how to explain it with knowledge and ingenuity".

Sergio Aguero does not understand criticism directed at Lionel Messi for Argentina, insisting the superstar is the "first to suffer " and continues to make himself available for the national team.

Messi has won everything on offer during his time as a Barcelona player – the Champions League, LaLiga, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup, Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana.

However, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is yet to taste senior success in an Argentina jersey following a runners-up finish at the 2014 World Cup, having also reached back-to-back Copa America finals in 2015 and 2016.

Messi excluded himself from international selection after Argentina's last-16 exit at the 2018 World Cup, before returning and helping the country to the Copa America semi-final last year.

The 32-year-old continues to be criticised for his Argentina performances but countryman Aguero defended his team-mate.

"I do not understand those who criticise him in the national team," Aguero told TyC Sports. "He is the first to suffer and continues to come."

The coronavirus pandemic has brought sport to a standstill, with the Premier League and LaLiga among the leagues on hiatus, while the 2020 Copa America has been pushed back to next year.

The Premier League has been suspended since last month and it remains to be seen when, and if, the 2019-20 campaign will resume.

Manchester City star Aguero is contracted until 2021 and the Argentine forward has been linked with a return to boyhood club Independiente.

But Aguero does not know what the future holds, adding: "For now, I'm not thinking about what to do. With all this, the clubs are having problems.

"Up until next year it can be extended for two months or more. There are players who end contracts this year and if it is played in July, August or September, the clubs are going to have problems.

"I don't know if they can renew with players for three months or six. The first thing is to end this season and hit everything next."

Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho is "very much missing football" with the season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League campaign was stopped last month because of COVID-19, which has killed more than 206,000 people worldwide.

Fernandinho, who returned home to Brazil with his family, is feeling football's absence during the break.

"I am very much missing football. Not just the football, but my relationships with my team-mates, with the staff and all the people at the club," he told the club's website.

"I miss arriving at the club in the morning, having a chat with everyone in the kitchen. This is a tough time for everybody, and I am feeling it right now because I am really missing everyone."

City were sitting second – 25 points adrift of Liverpool – when the Premier League season was stopped.

While Fernandinho is staying in touch with his team-mates, the 34-year-old admitted it is difficult living in isolation, as he misses all aspects of life at the club.

"[I miss] the training sessions, the relationships with team-mates and staff, the time before training you are talking with the physios, sometimes the kitchen after breakfast and even on the pitch before training starts. Everything," he said.

"We live in different ways so now we are just isolated far from everyone. You make some phone and video calls, but it is not the same. It is hard to be honest."

Kylian Mbappe has been tipped to join fellow Frenchman Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.

Madrid head coach Zidane has made no secret of his admiration for Mbappe.

However, Liverpool are reportedly launching an audacious bid for the Paris Saint-Germain forward.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL CONTACT MBAPPE'S DAD

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has spoken to Kylian Mbappe's father about bringing the Paris Saint-Germain star to Anfield, according to Le10 Sport.

Mbappe has been tipped to join LaLiga giants Real Madrid in 2021 as PSG struggle to agree a new contract with the France forward.

Despite strong links to the Santiago Bernabeu, Champions League holders Liverpool are still chasing the 21-year-old.

 

ROUND-UP

Cristiano Ronaldo does not want to leave Juventus, says Tuttosport. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked to PSG, as well as former clubs Madrid and Manchester United.

Paulo Dybala to Inter? The Argentina star was linked to the Nerazzurri at the start of the season but remained at Juventus, where he has starred. However, Calciomercato says Inter are still interested in Dybala.

- The Mirror claims Borussia Dortmund have set their sights on Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka. The 18-year-old has also been linked to Liverpool and United.

Barcelona and Manchester City are eyeing Benfica defender Ruben Dias, reports Record. The 22-year-old has been offered to Barca as a possible long-term replacement for Samuel Umtiti, the report adds.

- Mundo Deportivo says Juve are pressing to sign in-demand Barca midfielder Arthur, who has been the subject of interest from Inter and Tottenham.

Arsenal have given up on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang re-signing with the Premier League club, according to the Daily Express. Inter are said to be the favourites to sign the Gabon forward.

- Real Madrid's Luka Jovic has emerged as an option for Milan amid doubts over Zlatan Ibrahimovic's future, says Calciomercato.

Saturday should have seen Barcelona host Atletico Madrid in LaLiga and pit Antoine Griezmann against his old club once more.

Griezmann left Atleti for Camp Nou in the second most expensive transfer of the previous close season, his €120million move eclipsed only by Joao Felix, the man bought to replace him.

Neither player has exactly enjoyed a resoundingly triumphant season, which is an affliction to hit many of the top 10 most expensive transfers of 2019.

We look at each of those players and whether their signings have, until now, been a hit or a miss...

 

JOAO FELIX: Benfica to Atletico Madrid (€126m)

Benfica and Portugal's golden boy scored in pre-season victories over Juventus and Real Madrid to give Atleti fans reason to believe the post-Griezmann future was bright.

However, just six goals in 28 competitive appearances later, doubts have been growing as to whether the 20-year-old forward will ever truly suit Diego Simeone's system.

VERDICT: MISS

ANTOINE GRIEZMANN: Atletico Madrid to Barcelona (€120m)

Griezmann vowed to stay at Atletico in 2018 only to change his mind a year later, and his performances for Barca are in keeping with a man not quite at ease in his surroundings.

Only Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez better his goal involvements for the Blaugrana in LaLiga this term (eight goals and four assists), while he is second only to Messi for chances created (26), but fans were entitled to expect more from the club's latest mega-money forward.

VERDICT: MISS

EDEN HAZARD: Chelsea to Real Madrid (€100m)

Chelsea fans feared the worst when their star man was lost during a transfer embargo, but things have hardly gone swimmingly for Hazard at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Injury problems have restricted him to just nine starts and a solitary goal and assist in LaLiga. He has also only created 14 chances, as many as James Rodriguez (who has started just four league games) and Lucas Vazquez (who has started six).

VERDICT: MISS

HARRY MAGUIRE: Leicester City to Manchester United (€87m)

The world's most expensive central defender might not be thought of as the world's best, but that should not detract from his impact on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

He leads the way for duels won, aerial duels won, blocks and interceptions among United defenders in the Premier League this season, helping them to eight clean sheets. Oh, and he's already been made club captain.

VERDICT: HIT

MATTHIJS DE LIGT: Ajax to Juventus (€85m)

The most coveted centre-back of the window after Ajax's remarkable Champions League run, De Ligt delivered a dreadful performance on his Juventus debut in a 4-3 win over Napoli.

He has won the most aerial duels and has the pass success rate of any Juve defender to feature more than five times in Serie A this term, but there are already doubts about his long-term suitability to Maurizio Sarri's side.

VERDICT: MISS

LUCAS HERNANDEZ: Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich (€80m)

Bayern smashed their transfer record to sign defender Hernandez, but injuries have made it difficult to assess whether the money will prove to be well-spent.

A knee problem in September was followed by a serious ankle injury that kept him out for nearly four months, meaning he has started only nine games in all competitions for the Bundesliga champions.

VERDICT: MISS

NICOLAS PEPE: Lille to Arsenal (€80m)

Pepe was something of a symbol of Unai Emery's problematic final few weeks in charge as he struggled badly to find form for the Gunners.

He has certainly shown signs of improvement in 2020 – only Mesut Ozil (38) has created more chances in the league than Pepe (34) for Arsenal – but fans will have hoped for more from their record signing.

VERDICT: MISS

FRENKIE DE JONG: Ajax to Barcelona (€75m)

Another Ajax star who became coveted by clubs across Europe last year, De Jong opted for Barca and immediately became a regular in midfield.

He has not quite adapted to life in LaLiga - Ernesto Valverde's exit and Quique Setien's arrival as coach did not help - but, in turbulent times for the club, he looks to be a safe bet as the beating heart of Barca for years to come: he had created more chances (24) than any other Barca midfielder this term and only Sergio Busquets has more recoveries and interceptions.

VERDICT: HIT

RODRI: Atletico Madrid to Manchester City (€70m)

Manchester City's record signing has proved a smart bit of a business given midfield-anchor supreme Fernandinho has spent much of this season in defence.

Rodri has attempted more passes (1,996), recorded a better passing accuracy (92 per cent) and more recoveries (181) than any other City midfielder in 2019-20. He looks very much at home in Pep Guardiola's system.

VERDICT: HIT

ROMELU LUKAKU: Manchester United to Inter (€65m)

Lukaku's move to Inter seems to have been that rarity in modern-day transfers: a deal that has worked out well for everyone concerned.

United's attack is taking the more fluid shape Solskjaer wants, Antonio Conte at last got the forward he tried to bring to Juventus and Chelsea, and Lukaku has looked in the form of his career, with 17 goals and two assists in Serie A as part of a fearsome partnership with Lautaro Martinez.

VERDICT: HIT

Raheem Sterling admits he wants to get his hands on one of Lionel Messi's shirts, even if he might not rush to put it on his wall.

Manchester City forward Sterling is building up a collection after swapping kit with star opponents following big games, but he keeps them locked away.

The 25-year-old England international says he is waiting until the end of his career before bringing together his silverware and framing his shirt collection.

Sterling intends to make sure "a couple" of City team-mate David Silva's shirts adorn the walls of his house in Jamaica.

"I am a shirt collector but I don't put any shirts on my wall as of yet," Sterling told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I don't like people coming into my house and knowing I am a football player. I like to keep my house family orientated.

"But for sure when I do finish football and settle somewhere I'll have all the shirts - hopefully many shirts to choose from - and pick my favourites that I played against and do a room of trophies and football shirts.

"There's only one I really want and that's a Messi shirt - when we played Barcelona I got a Neymar shirt, I think that's the first shirt I ever asked for."

Sterling also explained why Silva means so much to him.

He said that Silva, who is set to leave City at the end of the currently paused 2019-20 season, has helped him "be humble" as a player.

Paying tribute to the experienced Spanish playmaker, Sterling said learning from Silva has encouraged him to "keep that humility about yourself and carry yourself in a decent way".

Raheem Sterling believes he is 15 goals short of where he could be this season as he warned Manchester City have "another level to go".

It remains to be seen whether English football can resume amid the coronavirus crisis, or whether it will go the same way as the Netherlands, where the 2019-20 season has been abandoned.

Sterling's 20 goals in all competitions for City this term have maintained his consistent high level of contribution to Pep Guardiola's team, even though they have been left standing by runaway leaders Liverpool in the Premier League.

And the speedy forward is determined to step up whenever football returns, hungry for more success with last season's domestic treble winners.

Asked about where his game is, Sterling told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I'd day probably about 15 goals off where I want to be, so those are the targets: to try to create good numbers, but not just numbers to have numbers.

"At the end of the day you want to have trophies to back up that season because 10 years from now, you can score a lot of goals, but if I can't look back at those goals being important for my team and having a great value then those goals were pointless."

City have banked the EFL Cup this season and were in the hunt for the FA Cup before the season was paused in March.

Sterling has come to appreciate the value of silverware as more than a pleasing accompaniment to his personal success.

"It's one of those - [you want] to try to contribute as much as I can but at the end of the season have medals to show for it," he said.

The England star said City are a team where egos are not rampant, adding: "We've still got another level to go.

"In my time at City, the most important thing I've learned is the value of winning. Before, if I won a game it was good, but if I lost a game you're disappointed but it doesn't burn you as much.

"But if we lose one game in 15 at Manchester City you wouldn't like to be in the dressing room - it's like the worst thing in the world's happened.

"That's the biggest thing I've learned since I've been there and it's something that I definitely carry with me, not just in football but in anything I do - that winning mentality."

The 25-year-old joined City from Liverpool five years ago and says the improved mental side of the game comes from working with former Barcelona head coach Guardiola.

"That's the number one thing I've taken from him," Sterling said.

Roy Keane sees cause for optimism in Manchester United's progress over recent months but still believes they have "a long way back" before challenging Liverpool or Manchester City.

United have endured an inconsistent season under Keane's former team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, yet the 20-time English champions headed into the coronavirus-enforced break in form.

The Old Trafford outfit are unbeaten in 11 and up to fifth in the Premier League, inspired by the January arrival of midfielder Bruno Fernandes.

Ex-captain Keane is looking for United to have a strong finish to the season, but he recognises there remains a sizeable gap to rivals Liverpool and City, the runaway league leaders and defending champions respectively.

"I think there's certainly a feel-good factor back at United over the past number of games," Keane told Sky Sports.

"Also, in the back of your mind, you're thinking if [Paul] Pogba can get back, people like [Marcus] Rashford can get fit towards the end of the season, that would be a big boost for them.

"So there's definitely a feel-good factor, but there's still a long way back for United yet. I still think they're a long way behind City and, obviously, Liverpool.

"The signs are a lot better than six months ago, 12 months ago. The signings have all settled in very, very well and will only get better with time.

"If they can have a good finish to the season - if we get back to playing games - and if they can get one or two very good players again in the summer, then that's another big step.

"I always think in terms of their recovery, there's still a bit to go yet."

United have been linked with Jadon Sancho ahead of the coming transfer window, yet Keane believes their shortcomings are in defence.

"Whenever we talk about the big clubs, everyone always talks about attacking players," he said. "I still think they need one or two defenders.

"I'm still not convinced with the centre-halves, I'm certainly not convinced with [left-back Luke] Shaw. I think [Brandon] Williams has done well as a young kid, even though he's right-footed playing on that side."

'Next Generation' is a series focusing on the young players tipped to establish themselves as the elite in the 2020s. 

 

While their white jersey with the red sash may be iconic in world football, Peru certainly isn't considered by the layman as a hotbed of talent.

Peru's Primera Division is seen as something of a retirement home for its former national team players who have been in second-tier leagues, like Mexico's Liga MX or MLS, while exports aren't exactly aplenty.

Peruvian newspaper El Comercio counts just 47 Peru natives playing abroad, while they also believe these players highlight the main issue for the country in terms of development; very few are defenders.

And that, for some, is what makes Manchester City's purchase of Kluiverth Aguilar, a 16-year-old right-back from Alianza Lima, all the more encouraging.

Causing a stir

Aguilar's rise to prominence has been swift, as Peruvian journalist Diego Montalvan explains to Stats Perform: "The first time I became aware of Aguilar was after all the talk about a Peruvian kid that had been the best full-back in the South American Under-17 Championship last year."

However, Aguilar had already been causing a stir in youth football before that tournament, which took place across March and April. He played that competition – hosted in Peru – having sparked a little controversy in joining Alianza Lima a month prior.

Sporting Cristal were under the impression he was their player, having impressed with his local side Regatas, but Alianza exploited the lack of a formal agreement to make Aguilar theirs, and that resulted in accusations of disloyalty. It soon became clearer why Sporting were so angry.

Despite being only 15 at the time, making him among the youngest players at the tournament, Aguilar was a standout performer for a Peru side that made it to the second group stage, only to narrowly miss out on a place at the Under-17 World Cup.

Tall, quick, tenacious and technically sound, Aguilar's performances went down particularly well at Alianza.

The team swiftly moved him up to their reserve team and that was quickly followed by promotion to the senior selection, even being named in the squad for two Copa Libertadores games.

"He's adapted very well since his debut with Alianza, being thrown into the semi-final and final of the 2019 season, he played as if he had been a regular starter all season," Diego adds of the teenager.

Out of the blue?

While the signing may have raised some eyebrows in England, Diego is adamant Alianza weren't surprised by such a deal so soon. "I don't think it's a surprise to Alianza at all that he's moving to a big club," he said.

"Peruvian media have always talked about his potential in a positive light because, so far, the positives seem to outweigh the negatives. Negatives being that he's young and still needs to perfect his craft, his defensive positioning also needs to be worked on.

"He's an offensive minded right-back that combines speed and stamina to overlap and cross, or use his speed to open up space, dribble, create chances and even cut inside to shoot. The way he plays reminds me of Dani Alves, although he still has a lot to learn and master to get to his level."

As it turns out, the transfer to City had been over a year in the making. The Premier League champions had – according to Alianza's head of youth recruitment, Jaime Duarte – been in Peru for the youth tournament and decided as long ago as that to sign Aguilar.

"It was impressive because there was a sea of scouts from all over the world," Duarte told Libero. "Man City has a headquarters in Brazil and there is a manager [Carlos Santoro] who covers all of South America. He had come to Lima and he tells one of their chiefs [Gary Worthington, head of player recruitment], I think Pep Guardiola's right-hand man, to take a plane to Peru to see a 15-year-old.

"Scouts always look at the Brazilian, Argentinian and Uruguayan full-backs, but Kluiverth was rated the best South American full-back, and then came the approach with his manager. From there he was already [gone]."

According to the Peruvian media, Worthington only needed to watch for "a few minutes" before approving a move.

The long road

Aguilar's very being is clearly heavily influenced by football - the names of he and his brothers, Diego Armando and Rijkaard, all carry obvious inspiration rooted in their father's love for the game.

That has certainly rubbed off on Aguilar, who is clearly a fine talent for his age. But however talented he may be, the route to the City first-team will likely be long and arduous, assuming he is a success – and that's no guarantee for a 16-year-old.

Aguilar will join up with City next May when he turns 18. From there, his future becomes a little cloudier as one considers his next steps. Will he be expected to develop in the reserves? Can he force his way into first-team reckoning ahead of the 2021-22 season? Or will he just become engulfed by the City Football Group machine and be bandied around between clubs?

It seems the best indicator as to City's plan for Aguilar - or 'Cyborg', as he's known to some team-mates - is to consider Yangel Herrera, the Venezuelan talent the club plucked from relative obscurity in 2017.

Since then, the defensive midfielder has spent two seasons on loan with sister club New York City, half a year in LaLiga with Huesca before returning to Spain's top-flight this term with Granada, where he has impressed.

Fortunately, Aguilar appears switched-on and humble, acknowledging spells away from City are likely, telling Alianza's club channels: "At the moment I think first of being a champion with Alianza and if later City want to train me in other clubs, I will do so to be able to reach the first team."

The value of the transfer is shrouded in uncertainty, with Alianza insisting they received significantly less than the $2.8million fee being reported, but with an apparent 30 per cent sell-on, there's every chance this deal will eventually go down as the biggest in domestic Peruvian football history.

Regardless of how Aguilar's career progresses in England, one thing is clear; his move is a major boost for Peru, an undertapped source in football.

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan believes the enforced break in the Premier League could be beneficial for Leroy Sane.

Sane damaged the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last August and was nearing a first-team return before the Premier League season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gundogan said he was sometimes training with Sane, 24, remotely and feels the attacker – who has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich – could be helped by the hiatus.

"We have the same fitness coach in Germany. Some days we do our exercises via FaceTime. It's worked out well so far and we're on it and trying to be very focused," he said, via the club's website.

"For everyone the situation has its good and bad sides. On one hand, Leroy had already trained with the team and he had his comeback in sight, even though he still had a few minor things.

"But he was almost back at playing again. Especially for your psyche, it's important to be able to play again after such a long time.

"On the other hand, he now has a bit more time to figure out those minor problems he still had. The fact that others can't play either is not so bad for him."

Gundogan, whose side were 25 points adrift of leaders Liverpool when play was halted, admitted it was at times tough to get motivated when training alone.

"I have a few things to do and then I'm ready to go," the Germany international said.

"To be honest, it's not so easy to motivate yourself these days every day when you are training. You know, like people who are working from home, you can maybe compare it to that.

"For those people it's also not the same as driving to work every day and then doing their jobs.

"You have to motivate yourself to do things and to do your work. Some days it's harder than others."

After months and months of speculation, Jadon Sancho's future could be resolved.

The 20-year-old attacker has been tipped to return to England, having left Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

And City's neighbours are reportedly set to snap up the in-demand sensation.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED THINK THEY'VE WON SANCHO RACE

Borussia Dortmund's Sancho to Manchester United is a done deal, according to The Sun.

England star Sancho has been heavily linked to United, as well as Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid following his exploits for Dortmund.

However, United believe they have won the race for Sancho after months of secret talks, with just an agreement of a fee with Dortmund remaining.

ROUND-UP

- Sport reports Paris Saint-Germain are ready to offer Neymar a salary worth €38million if he stays at the Ligue 1 champions amid links to former club Barcelona.

Sandro Tonali is a real target for Milan, claims Calciomercato. The Brescia star has attracted interest from Serie A champions Juventus, Inter, PSG, Manchester City and others. But Tonali is Milan's big transfer goal as the Rossoneri board tries to rebuild around the 19-year-old.

Mauro Icardi to Napoli and Arkadiusz Milik to Juve? FCInterNews.it says Napoli are back in the hunt to sign Icardi, who is on loan at PSG from Inter. The Argentina forward has been heavily linked to Juve but he could join Napoli if Milik moves to Turin. The front page of Tuttosport also claims Federico Bernardeschi leaving Juve for Napoli could be the key in Milik's future.

Inter are interested in signing RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner if Lautaro Martinez swaps the Nerazzurri for Barca, reports Calciomercato. Liverpool and Bayern Munich have also been linked to Werner.

- AS Diario says Real Madrid are ready to sell Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez. Colombian midfielder James has been linked to United and Juve. Madrid are also prepared to part with Lucas Vazquez, Mariano Diaz, Alvaro Odriozola and Nacho Fernandez.

Arsenal and United have set their sights on Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele, according to Sport. Dembele has struggled for form and fitness at Camp Nou and the Frenchman has reportedly asked Anthony Martial about playing for United.

Manchester City have agreed a deal to sign 16-year-old right-back Kluiverth Aguilar from Alianza Lima, the Peruvian club announced on Saturday.

Aguilar, who has previously stated he hopes to model his game on Dani Alves, will make the switch to City when he turns 18 on May 5, 2021.

The teenage defender made his debut while still at school last November and featured in both legs of the Primera Division final defeat against Deportivo Binacional. He has featured in nine first-team games in his fledgling career.

"Going to City is something big in my career. I'm happy they have signed me," said Aguilar.

"It is a club with players, a coach and fans that are all extraordinary. My goal is to become an outstanding player in the first team.

"I am glad that the possibility of moving to Europe presented itself to me while I am an Alianza player."

A statement from Alianza, who will receive a percentage of any future sale, said: "Within its policy of signing players with great potential, Manchester City saw in Kluiverth Aguilar a talent capable of playing at the highest level.

"Alianza Lima is proud that a footballer from its team can link his future to that of one of the most prestigious clubs in the world."

Aguilar could well follow in the footsteps of Yangel Herrera, who joined the Premier League champions from Atletico Venezuela in 2017 and was sent on loan to New York City FC. After a spell at Huesca, Herrera is now at Granada.

New York City are part of the City Football Group, which also owns or has a stake in Melbourne City, Montevideo City Torque, Girona, Yokohama F. Marinos, Sichuan Jiuniu and Mumbai City.

Lautaro Martinez has been tipped to leave Inter at the end of the coronavirus-interrupted 2019-20 season.

His exploits in Italy have reportedly alerted Barcelona, who are determined to sign a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.

And Martinez is apparently ready to swap the San Siro for Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – MARTINEZ WANTS BARCA MOVE

Inter star Lautaro Martinez has chosen to join Barcelona and will press for a move if necessary, according to Marca.

While Barcelona remain interested in re-signing Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar, Martinez is the club's primary transfer objective.

Real Madrid and Manchester City have also been linked to Martinez, but the former have turned their attention to Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, while the latter are reportedly happy with Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could another star leave Inter? Premier League leaders and Champions League holders Liverpool want to sign Marcelo Brozovic, claims Calciomercato. The Nerazzurri could be tempted by a €60million (£52m) offer.

- Calciomercarto reports Juventus and PSG are in discussions over Mauro Icardi. The Argentina forward is on loan at PSG from Inter, with the Ligue 1 champions having the option to sign Icardi permanently. Icardi has been tipped to return to Serie A and the story claims PSG could sign the Argentinian from Inter before selling him straight to Juve. A possible deal could involve the likes of Mattia De Sciglio, Miralem Pjanic, Douglas Costa and Alex Sandro.

- The Telegraph says Ajax have placed a €40m (£35m) price tag on goalkeeper Andre Onana, who has been linked to Chelsea, PSG and Barca.

Jadon Sancho will only move to Old Trafford if Manchester United secure Champions League football, says the Athletic. The Dortmund sensation has also been linked to Chelsea, Liverpool, former club City and Madrid.

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter have a list of potential replacements for Barca target Martinez. RB Leipzig's Timo Werner is the first name on the list, which also includes Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, United forward Anthony Martial, Madrid striker Luka Jovic and Victor Osimhen of Lille.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.