£8m star confirms Brighton transfer before Sheffield United FA Cup clash

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He could make his debut at Bramall Lane later this month.

Valentin Barco could make his Brighton debut at Sheffield United later this month after confirming he has already signed for the south coast club.

Full-back Barco has been heavily linked with a move to the AMEX throughout the January transfer window, with Roberto De Zerbi keen to add depth in that area amid a number of injury issues. Links to Manchester City and Liverpool have also surfaced but Brighton's track record of developing talent has seen them edge the race.

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The Seagulls are thought to have agreed a fee of $10million (around £8m) with Boca Juniors for the 19-year-old, who has since completed his medical. Official confirmation is yet to come from the club but Barco has spoken out on his imminent move.

"I'm already a Brighton player," he told ESPN in South America. “It's a totally different kind of football than here. I'll have to adapt, I hope it's quick. I didn't have the opportunity to speak with the coach. I did speak with Facu [Facundo Buonanotte] who is there.”

Barco is an Argentinian under-23 international and has been a regular starter at Boca, playing 35 times at club level since breaking into the first-team picture three years ago. He caught the eye in last year's Copa Libertadores final, despite defeat against Fluminense.

Confirmation of the move from Brighton's side is expected to come later this week but it is unclear whether Barco will be registered in time to face Wolves in the Premier League on Monday. Even if he is, adapting to De Zerbi's system could take a few training sessions.

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It means that Barco could be handed his Seagulls debut when they arrive at Bramall Lane for their FA Cup fourth round clash at Sheffield United. De Zerbi's side are expected to go strong in search of a trophy this season, as they did in the third-round win against Stoke City.

Chris Wilder also went strong for the Blades' 4-0 win at Gillingham earlier this month as he looks to build some winning momentum ahead of their Premier League survival push in the second-half of the season.

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