Brighton and Hove Albion are on the verge of signing Boca Juniors starlet Valentin Barco.
Valentin Barco, 19, is believed to have caught the attention of a host of European clubs ever since he made his senior team debut for Boca Juniors in 2021. The Argentinean youth international, an aggressive, skilful left-back who can also operate as a left-winger, established himself as a first-team regular in the 2023 campaign, bagging a goal and four assists in 32 matches across all competitions.
The teenager is out of contract in December 2024 and has previously been linked with a move to treble winners Manchester City. Brighton are understood to have been tracking Barco for several months and held positive talks with Boca Juniors officials last week, with the Premier League club having reportedly agreed to pay Barco’s £7.8m release clause.
The report adds that the left-sided flyer is currently with the Argentina Under-23 side preparing for the Olympic qualifying tournament and is expected to complete a medical at the national association’s training ground before finalising his potential move to Brighton in the next few days. Barco is expected to sign a four-and-a-half-year contract with the Seagulls, with the option of an extra 12 months.
Roberto de Zerbi keen to sign a new left-back in January
Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi is believed to have made the signing of a full-back in this winter transfer window one of the priorities, with first-choice left-back Pervis Estupinan having recently returned from injury. Joel Veltman is facing several weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury, while Tariq Lamptey continues to struggle with fitness issues.
The Italian tactician seems to have got his man with Brighton closing in on Valentin Barco. The 19-year-old has been selected in the squad for the Olympic qualifying tournament, which starts on January 20. If Argentina fails to make it out of their group, they will conclude their fixtures on February 2. But should they advance to the final group phase, Barco may not be available to represent De Zerbi’s club until the end of February.
In recent years, the Seagulls have built a reputation for investing in hidden talents from South America and nurturing them into the top players who either stay at the club or have been sold for a huge profit. The signings of Moises Caicedo, Alexis Mac Allister, Julio Enciso and Facundo Buonanotte are glaring examples of the Sussex-based club’s recruitment. And in Barco, Brighton will hope they have got another South American gem on their hands.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.