Manchester City is coming off their most successful campaign in more than 40 years after winning the Premier League title for the first time in the tournaments 20-year history.
Coupled with their 2011-12 League Championship, City is looking to build a dynasty that will return the club to their glory days of the 60s and 70s and allow them to regularly compete with primary rival Manchester United.
City had been looking to add Arsenal’s captain Robin van Persie in an effort to improve the club’s chances of defending their titles. But club boss Roberto Mancini has now all but conceded defeat in his pursuit of the 29-year-old striker who seems destined to sign with Man U.
With their pursuit of Van Persie now seemingly over, here are five alternatives that Mancini should turn his attention to.
With Manchester City's pursuit of Arsenal striker Robin van Persie now apparently in the rear-view, club boss Roberto Mancini is turning his attention to Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain. While not his top choice, the 24-year-old Argentine may actually be a better fit for City.
Besides the fact that Higuain is five years younger than Van Persie, he may also feel comfortable joining fellow Argentinians and current City forwards Sergio Aguero and Carlos Teves. Higuain may also be more inclined to join City after being unhappy with his playing time for Real Madrid last season.
Manchester City's past interest in rising Brazilian star Lucas Moura may have been a baseless rumor. But now that Robin van Persie will not be joining the club, interest in Lucas could pick up.
Sir Alex Ferguson, boss of City rival Manchester United, has confirmed that his club has interest in Lucas. With United also serving as the primary competition to City's pursuit of Van Persie, is it possible that Roberto Mancini could pursue the 19-year-old midfielder as a strategic, retaliatory move?
Manchester City could make a move to bring back a player from its recent past by pursuing Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge. The 22-year-old left City in 2009 to join the west London club.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rogers is reportedly prepared to make a major push to sign Sturridge, but with Robin van Persie now out of the running for City, they could decide to make a push to him back home. Sturridge has had a strong showing in the 2012 Summer Olympics for Team GB, and he's apparently at risk of losing his starting spot with Chelsea in the upcoming season.
Thomas Muller could be another great get for Manchester City as they seek to move on from the failed efforts to acquire Robin van Persie. the 22-year-old Bayern Munich star has drawn interest from City boss Roberto Mancini in the recent past and losing out on Van Persie could certainly reignite that flame.
Muller has the versatility to be used as a second striker and a wing, in addition to his primary role as a midfielder. This skill set would add versatility to City's attack, making the defending Premier League champions even more dangerous.
It seems unlikely that Manchester City could acquire Luka Modric from Tottenham with a deal apparently already in place to send the Croatian midfielder to Real Madrid. Money seems to be the issue preventing this deal from happening with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy pushing a hard bargain with the Spanish team.
Is it possible that City could sweep in out of nowhere with their deep pockets and championship aura to make a deal for Modric?
Modric's heart seems to be in Spain and the same report above from Bleacher Report featured columnist Dan Talintyre states that he is upset about the delay in completing the deal to Real Madrid. But that window of opportunity could be enough for City boss Roberto Mancini to swoop in and make the Spurs an offer they can't refuse.