River Plate poised to complete signing of Carlos Auzqui from Estudiantes

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Almost all of River Plate’s transfer activity in this window has centred around the pursuit of Rosario Central’s Walter Montoya and while that particular move hasn’t yet been abandoned, Marcelo Gallardo’s side seem set to sign Estudiantes forward Carlos Auzqui.

Injury to youngster Denis Rodríguez last week in the Florida Cup was likely to push River into the market regardless of the outcome of several bids for Montoya and now Auzqui’s agent Juan Cruz Oller has confirmed that his client will become Gallardo’s first reinforcement of the year.

“It’s a fact that he is going to River,” Oller informed reporters.

“He has already spoke to Gallado, but the decision to move to River had been taken before that. The call of Enzo Francescoli was decisive.”

It is understood that River will pay $2.7 million plus Augusto Solari, who has been on loan at Estudiantes from the Millonarios but has no place in Gallardo’s future plans.

Despite a poor end to the year, Estudiantes remain in the Primera title race and before suffering a first defeat of the season to Banfield in round eleven had looked in terrific form. Auzqui’s pace on the counter had been central to that and having scored four goals and forming a dangerous attack with Lucas Viatri, his absence will be keenly felt by Nelson Vivas ahead of El Pincha’s own Copa Libertadores campaign.

Able to play up front or out wide, Auzqui will provide some versatility to Gallardo’s attack although Oller suggested this too had been discussed: “I understand he’s going to play as a striker.”

The 25-year-old had been tipped for a move to Bundesliga side Mainz but preferred to remain in Argentina and should prove to be an excellent acquisition for River.

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