Man City given unexpected Maximo Perrone transfer boost


Manchester City will get a look at their new signing Maximo Perrone sooner than expected, after Argentina’s miserable under-20 Championship came to an end on Saturday thanks to an awful goalkeeping error in their final must-win group game.

The Premier League giants confirmed the arrival of Velez Sarsfield midfielder Maximo Perrone on Monday evening, with the 20-year-old putting pen to paper on a five-and-a-half-year contract.

The plan was for Perrone to continue with that tournament, before arriving in England to train with Pep Guardiola’s first team for the rest of the season.

After that – with Perrone not expected to challenge for any game time for City – a decision will be taken on whether the youngster stays at the Etihad next season or heads out on loan.

Now, as reported by MEN, Argentina have been knocked out of the Championship, and Perrone will head to the Etihad sooner than most at City will have prepared for.

As defending champions, Argentina were expected to reach the second group stage at the tournament, with three countries qualifying from the opening group of five. The winner is then chosen from the second group of six, but Argentina were only able to win one of their four games and finished fourth in their group.

Perrone’s tournament got off to a good start, scoring in the opening game against Paraguay, but Argentina were beaten 2-1 and followed that up with a 3-1 defeat to rivals Brazil – in which Perrone was at fault for one goal and was booked late on for simulation.

As a result, Argentina needed to win both remaining games and hope other results went in their favour, so a 1-0 win over Peru and Colombia’s draw with Brazil kept their hopes alive and meant a final win against Colombia would see them progress. On Saturday morning, though, Argentina fell to a 1-0 defeat, dumping them out of the competition.

Colombia’s winner saw a routine effort from Juan Fuentes fumbled by goalkeeper Franco Herrera, who got his body behind the ball but allowed it to squirm underneath his legs and into the back of the net.

Perrone had started the first two games, but was dropped for the Peru win. Recalled against Colombia, he was substituted immediately after Fuentes’ goal, and will now head to Manchester to link up with his new team.

The loss resulted in triple heartbreak for Argentina, as they have now failed to qualify for the 2023 Under-20 World Cup and the 2023 Pan American games.

Head coach Javier Mascherano – the former Liverpool and Barcelona midfielder who played a key role in persuading Perrone to join City – admitted the failure to qualify rested on his shoulders, and effectively tendered his resignation as under-20 coach.

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