Boca Juniors are hopeful of agreeing a new contract with defensive starlet Valentin Barco to keep him out of the reach of various clubs in Europe, sources have confirmed to 90min.
The 19-year-old has emerged into Boca’s first-team this season, mainly starting at left-back but actually featuring across the pitch thanks to his versatility.
Barco’s performances have caught the eye of a host of clubs and Brighton & Hove Albion have emerged in pole position to land the youngster. The Seagulls have held talks with the player’s representatives about a prospective deal ahead of a potential move in 2024.
However, Brighton, who have a stellar record when it comes to finding and developing South American talent, are not alone in admiring Barco. 90min understands that Chelsea, Manchester City, Newcastle, Brentford, Wolves and Nottingham Forest have all watched him in recent weeks.
As well as the Premier League suitors, sources have revealed that Celtic, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, Benfica, Porto, Roma, Juventus, PSG and Monaco have also checked on Barco.
His current deal runs to December 2024 and has a release clause of $10m (£8m). That is one reason why Boca are keen to agree a new contract, so they can increase his clause or even remove it.
Boca board member Marcelo Delgado confirmed after their weekend game with Defensa y Justicia that the Buenos Aires giants are looking at a new deal.
He told D Sports Radio: «Barco has a contract with us. At the moment, we have not received any proposal for him. We are thinking about improving the contract for Valentin.»
Barco’s representatives are now set for talks with Boca, although it is believed they will wait until after their Copa Libertadores semi-final clash with Palmeiras in the coming weeks.