Lucas Alario and Marcelo Gallardo

Buenos Aires, Feb 17 (IANS) River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo has expressed confidence that the Argentine football club’s striker Lucas Alario will turn down a lucrative offer to play in China.

Speaking to the local press on Thursday, Gallardo said that he believed Alario “will not take the decision to go play in an alternative market from a football perspective” and that “while the economics are important, his head and his mentality are ready for something else”, reports Xinhua.

The club’s technical secretary, Enzo Francescoli said that “Lucas already said he wants to stay” but added that “like most players, he has an exit clause, (and) this depends on him”.

“With his age (24) and the level he has, sooner or later he will go play in Europe, with a more glorious club and a higher sports level,” added the secretary.

The Argentine international’s agent, Pedro Aldave, revealed on Tuesday that an unnamed Chinese club was willing to pay the striker’s exit clause, set at over $19 million.

“There is a very important written offer from a Chinese club that we are considering,” said Aldave.

Alario is seen as a crucial player for River Plate, who will seek to win the Copa Libertadores this year, a title they last won in 2015.

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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