Manchester City Transfer News: 5 Alternatives to Signing Scott Sinclair
Manchester City's £6.2 million bid for primary target Scott Sinclair has faltered.
Reports suggest Arsenal's Theo Walcott was next on Roberto Mancini's radar. The English speedster has since held talks with his club, seemingly resolving his immediate future in the process (via BBC Sport).
Who should Mancini turn his sights to next? With the transfer deadline approaching, the Italian will be desperate to strengthen quickly.
I've outlined five potential targets for the Premier League champions. While the price of each varies greatly, all offer similar abilities to the aforementioned players.
Nathan Dyer, Swansea City
Nathan Dyer has continued to improve since Swansea reached the Premier League.
Last year, he took a little time to adjust. A return of five goals and two assists from 34 appearances isn't the most productive, but Dyer's statistics don't do him justice.
The tiny Englishman is a hard worker on the pitch. Whether he's galloping up the field to support strikers or running back to help in defence, there's an honesty about his game.
This season, Dyer's performances have been excellent. After two games he has scored two goals and provided an assist, as Swansea sit near the Premier League's coveted summit.
His increased confidence is easy to see. The signing of Miguel Michu has brought out the best in a player who often left games pass him by last year.
Swansea have maintained the slick passing style Brendan Rodgers worked so hard to instill. Michael Laudrup has been careful to maintain such impressive values, but has already evolved the formula even further with a directness that was previously lacking.
Laudrup's team are no longer scared of their Premier League opponents. Dyer's experiences at the club would bode well for a move to Man City.
The recently departed Adam Johnson may have more natural talent than Dyer, but you can bet the Swansea man is willing to work harder.
Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle United
One of Scott Sinclair's greatest attributes is that he can effectively carry out a number of attacking roles. If City can't land him before the transfer deadline, someone of Hatem Ben Arfa's ilk would be a superb alternative.
The Frenchman has had an epiphany across the last few months.
It's well-documented how the Frenchman's career has been crippled by his narcissistic ego. In May, he recognised the ability to remain level-headed for Newcastle gave him a greater chance of representing Les Bleus on the international stage (via Goal.com).
By July, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was forced to reach out to his player after a bust-up at Euro 2012 (via The Daily Mail).
The relationship between the pair has improved, and for the most part, Ben Arfa has remained a positive influence at the Sports Direct Arena.
In recent times, it's fair to say he has become one of Newcastle's most important players. Now that Ben Arfa has settled, there are very few individuals who possess his skill on the ball. His ability to dribble often leaves defenders hacking at his legs—a surefire sign he has the opposition rattled.
For Man City, Ben Arfa's versatility and sheer class could reap huge rewards.
His acquisition would be risky, and I'm not sure how much time he'd be willing to spend on the bench. If Roberto Mancini treated him right, he'd be a mouthwatering addition to an already excellent squad.
Daniel Sturridge, Chelsea
His playing time will be significantly reduced at Chelsea this year, especially with Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Marko Marin competing for a place in the starting team.
Of course, he is well accustomed to Manchester City. He spent six years there between 2003-2009, and impressed when his debut finally came in 2007.
Since leaving the Premier League champions, Sturridge has continued to develop.
He's by no means the finished article. Distribution remains a weakness of his game, as the 22-year-old often holds on to possession for too long.
At this stage in his career, he also has plenty of strengths. The England international is a deadly finisher, having netted 11 goals in 31 appearances for Chelsea last season.
He carried this form into the 2012 Olympic Games, where he scored two goals in three matches just weeks after suffering a mild case of meningitis.
Sturridge is used to spending time on the bench. This wouldn't be an issue. He's undoubtedly a player who needs to keep learning and a switch back to Man City could provide the perfect opportunity to do so.
Roberto Mancini would be able to utilise him in a number of different attacking roles, providing cover when any of his key men get injured.
If Scott Sinclair doesn't make his way to the Etihad, Roberto Mancini might be forced to search further afield.
An interesting option is Adriano. Barcelona's second-string man offers a defensive side the other players on this list do not, and can also contribute in the attacking third.
His role wouldn't change too much if he moved to England. Adriano has only made 52 appearances in all competitions since signing for the Catalan giants in 2010, many of which have come from the bench.
It's unlikely any of Mancini's signings will make it into the first team straight away. Adding someone of Adriano's calibre would provide cover across the entire pitch.
As he's shown at Barcelona, Adriano is prepared to play a squad role. He's more experienced than Sinclair and could aid City on their quest to challenge in all competitions.
Staying with Barcelona, Man City might be prepared to pay for a more expensive option.
Pedro needs no introduction.
He's played a massive part in Barcelona's success over the past few years. A lengthy injury kept him out of the side last season, and when he returned, the Iniesta-Messi-Sanchez trio kept him out of the side.
So far this year, his appearances continue to arrive sporadically. Youth players such as Isaac Cuenca and Cristian Tello also pressure him for a starting berth.
Pedro has gone from being guaranteed a place in the side to fighting for every minute on the pitch. An escape wouldn't come as a surprise.
The Spaniard has the potential to excel at Man City. A real partnership could be formed alongside fellow countryman David Silva. Both players are comfortable using either foot, and can interchange positions during a match.
Pedro would be another world-class addition to Mancini's squad. Unfortunately, he wouldn't come cheap. The player's current buy-out clause is set at staggering £135 million (via Goal.com).
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